Pocket money keeps on rising but fewer children have to work for it

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The Independent Online

Children have been awarded their biggest pocket money rise on record this year, according to a survey to be published today.

Children have been awarded their biggest pocket money rise on record this year, according to a survey to be published today.

On average, weekly pocket money rose by 29 per cent, taking it up to a record level of £3.10. And for the first time in four years, every age group of children has, typically, received an increase.

The biggest rise was among people aged between 14 and 16 who saw their pocket money increase to £5.66 a week on average, almost £2 more than their nearest rivals - children aged between 11 and 13.

If the present rate of increase continues, average weekly pocket money will be nearly £40 in 10 years' time. It is now at its highest level for 26 years, according to Wall's ice cream's annual survey of children's purchasing power.

Between them, the nation's children have £73m to spend if pocket money, gifts and earnings from paper rounds and odd jobs are taken into account. Boys' total weekly income is £6.08 and girls' is £6.09.

Amanda Richards, Wall's kids and teens ice cream marketing manager, said: "Britain's kids have never had it so good. It is not surprising that mobile phones have started appearing on shopping lists for the first time but ice cream and sweets continue to be the top priority."

Less of the money, however, is coming from paper rounds and odd jobs, perhaps, the survey suggests, because children are receiving more from their parents or because homework and revision pressures are increasing. Average weekly income from outside work fell for the second year running, from £1.36 to £1.20.

Girls are proving they can match boys' earning power. For the first time, they are earning more than boys from odd jobs.

Scottish children are the richest: their total weekly income (£9.29) is about £3 higher than that of their counterparts in Northern Ireland. They also top the pocket money league. Those in London and the South-east are the worst off with a weekly income of a mere £5.14 a week, a drop of 14 per cent on last year. The tables have been turned since 1982 when they had the highest income.

The research was done among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 children aged between five and 16.

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