Friday, 7 January 2011

VAT at 20%

So what relevance does the rise in VAT have for children, after all children's clothing and basic foods are still exempt from VAT? It's petrol, the average price per litre before the increase was £1.25 and now it is £1.28, up 3p a litre. For many years Children North East has worked in the most rural parts of Tynedale. We know a lot about life for families on low incomes living in 'rural isolation'. Public transport is virtually non existent in most places so families need a car in order to do the basics - to get to food shops, the GP, a chemist. Every parent knows how important the GP and a chemist are when you have small children. Running a car is expensive even if the car you have is an old one - insurance, tax, MOT, servicing, replacement tyres and so on. Now add to that petrol prices at a record high. If you have ever bought petrol in an isolated spot you will know it is more expensive than town anyway and now it will be even more so. Parents will think twice about using cars other than essential journeys. How many families will decide that trips to the swimming pool or soft play with the children are no longer essential. It may seem like a small sacrifice but the impact on children will be fewer opportunities to socialise, to play and to widen their horizons.

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