My daughter, 11, gives me her pocket money to help pay the bills as costs soar – times are so hard I can’t afford to eat
A MUM has revealed her 11-year-old daughter hands over her pocket money so they can their bills as costs soar.
Single mum Victoria, 34, said she is struggling so badly during the cost of living crisis she survives on her four children’s leftover food.
The full-time carer to one of her kids who has serious health problems gets around £300 a week in benefits.
Every week, Victoria’s eldest daughter Kiera, 11, donates her pocket money to help the family make ends meet.
Kiera has also given up the birthday money she received and has promised to do the same with any money she gets for Christmas.
Victoria, from Bath, Somerset, said: “It’s heartbreaking, Kiera saw me smashing into the tin money chest and said: ‘It’s ok Mummy, you can have my money’.
“It made me feel ashamed. I couldn’t even afford the local food bank £5 fee.
“The money worries are keeping me awake at night.
“I had to ask my mum for the money for one of my children’s school trips.
“It makes you feel you’re not good enough to be a parent.”
She added: “I go hungry because I can’t afford to eat. When the children come home I make sure they have a meal and I take anything leftover on their plates.”
Victoria spends around £120 on shopping every week, £70 on energy bills plus other bills.
She said: “I haven’t got one Christmas present this year.”
Households struggling to cope with soaring prices and energy bills are able to claim as much as £1,350 in cost of living payments.
Three cost of living payments have been announced, and if you’re eligible for all of them, you’ll be in line for £1,350 in help.
Millions of people on means-tested benefits will receive a £900 payment, pensioners are in line for £300, and those with disabilities £150.
Among those eligible for the money are those on Income Support, Universal Credit and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
In the small print of the Autumn Statement, it says those eligible for the £900 payment will be able to get the payment in the 2023/24 financial year.
As the financial year starts in April, it means you will get it after this point.
The Chancellor confirmed millions of struggling pensioners will get another £300 cost of living payment next April.
To qualify though you have to have been born on or before September 25, 1956
Those on disability benefit will get an additional £150 cost of living payment.
The first payments started being dished out from September this year.
This applied to people on a number of benefits, including Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance.
The criteria for receiving the second payment hasn’t been announced yet.
For the last payment, claimants must have received, or begun an eventually successful claim for one of these benefits, as of May 25 this year to be eligible for the £150 payment.
There are also a number of other, smaller payments being handed out, totalling £880 although some people may not be eligible for all of them.
Millions on Universal Credit and benefits will have already received a Christmas bonus.
The tax-free £10 payment starting hitting bank accounts qualifying from December 5.
Millions of households started receiving a £400 energy bill discount from October 1.
The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
When temperatures plummet those in low-income households can get a £25 payment.
The cold weather payments are made in locations where residents experience continuous below-zero weather.
The payment is made automatically, including to those on Universal Credit, for each seven-day period of low temperatures from now to March 31.
Struggling households can get a £150 discount on their energy bill this winter.
Several energy companies offer the money off bills through the Warm Home Discount scheme.
The discount is available to those on the lowest incomes to help with rising costs.