One in three parents get into debt over children's Christmas presents
MORE than a third of parents have got into debt to pay for their children's Christmas presents.
According to a survey by the Action for Children charity, many families in Northern Ireland will face money worries at Christmas.
Of the parents surveyed, almost half said they have been cutting back on presents and the amount they spent on a Christmas tree and dinner.
On average, parents said they had been trying to reduce their spending for four years.
However, around 34 per cent said they had got into debt to afford Christmas presents.
The charity said the British government's austerity measures and problems with the new system of benefits, known as universal credit, could leave families in substantial debt.
It said it had seen a 30 per cent rise in parents seeking financial advice over the last three years.
Action for Children's Northern Ireland director Dawn Shaw said many families are struggling.
"When you are a parent who is already struggling to make ends meet, Christmas can be a very stressful time that can lead to increased debt and difficult choices on what you can provide for the family over the festive period," she said.
"Our survey shows that this is the reality for too many families in Northern Ireland and we see this on a daily basis in our services."