Mothers 'worry most on living cost'

ShoppingMost mothers rank the cost of living as the most pressing issue in the UK, above youth unemployment and violent crime, according to a report.

The Asda Mumdex, a panel of more than 5,500 mothers who shop at the supermarket, found 70% say household bills have become less manageable over the past 12 months, with 62% saying they cannot currently afford to turn the heating on for as long as they need and 50% unable to afford to fully fill up their car.

Most of those questioned said the cost of living was their greatest concern, ranking it three times more important than youth unemployment and four times more pressing than violent crime.

Some 68% say they are spending less on family activities than they did a year ago and 55% are saving less than they were.

Asda chief operating officer Judith McKenna said: "Last year mums told us they were cutting luxuries. However, it's no longer just about saving money on holidays or big-ticket items. Now it's getting much more serious, with families having to forgo the very basics they need to survive, such as heating and transport.

"It's no surprise that when we asked mums what they wanted the Chancellor to do in next week's Budget, they focused on these basics - asking for help with reducing utility bills, freezing fuel duty and increasing the personal tax allowance."

Asda polled 1,991 mothers in January.