Our children now have £70m to spend a year

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The Independent Online

Britain's children are becoming a significant economic force with spending power of £70m a year

Britain's children are becoming a significant economic force with spending power of £70m a year

The 18th annual pocket money survey by Halifax bank shows that the children who receive a regular handout from their parents or grandparents are collecting an average £7.82 a week, a 35 per cent increase over last year's £5.79.

Halifax calculates this is 23 times the rate of inflation. "The level of pocket money has risen at more than double the rate of inflation since the survey began in 1987," said a Halifax spokesman.

Within that trend, younger children seem to be benefitting more than their older siblings. The average amount for 7 to 11 year olds has risen from £1.13 to £6.31 since 1987, a 460 per cent gain. But the £9.15 received by 11 to 16 year-olds is only 165 per cent higher than the £3.46 their counterparts got 17 years ago.

While this suggests that parents are becoming more generous, only two-thirds of 7 to 16 year-olds receive pocket money, and only a little more than a quarter do so in Wales. However the figures do not include a significant amount of spending on children's food, drink, clothes, sportswear, toiletries, holidays, videos and mobile phone costs.

The survey, carried out by Dubit, does not reveal how much pocket money is saved, but analysts believe that the 35 per cent annual increase masks a considerable sum being put into savings accounts. If only 10p in the pound is put by, that amounts to £7m over and above anything saved on their behalf.

The luckiest children are in Scotland, receiving £9.23 a week, compared with only £5.95 in eastern England. London children, who used to be the wealthiest, now languish near the bottom of the regional league. Boys collect an average £8.05 nationally, against girls' £7.58. But both genders had strong increases on last year's £6.18 and £5.38 respectively. Increases usually occur on a child's birthday.

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