Dickensian Christmas ahead as Conservative cuts hit kids' toy spending

New research from OnePoll hints that toys may not be as recession-proof as thought, predicting cut-backs on kids' Xmas presents.
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Children will receive fewer presents this Christmas than they did in Dickensian Britain as a result of Government cuts, experts said yesterday.

One in three families across the UK are planning to cut the number of gifts for their kids by half in a bid to save money.

But it's not just children who will be affected. More than 37 per cent of couples will buy fewer presents for each other, and almost 38 per cent of families have agreed to cut out presents entirely.

It means children could bag less than two gifts each - a little less than they received in the 19th-Century.

The results were published this week in Consumer Mums, a quarterly report into the spending habits of British mothers.

A spokesman for market research company OnePoll, which compiled the report after surveying 2,500 mums from its MumPoll panel, said: "We have found that many families will be unable to splash out on expensive toys this Christmas," he said.

''The global economic downturn, and its knock-on effects, means parents are simply not able to afford numerous presents for their children.

''Financial constraints also mean that partners, grown-up family members, and work colleagues will receive less this December 25th.''

The report shows that 61 per cent - or one in three - Britons will be actively looking to cut costs this Christmas.

Some 12 per cent will not be sending cards, while 17 per cent plan to make their own cards and presents.

Almost all families across the UK have also vowed to reduce their grocery bills this December, and 41 per cent will buy less food.

Overall, 17 per cent will strive to save money on all foodstuffs, 11 per cent will look to make savings on three-quarters of their groceries, and 24 per cent aim to save money on half their shopping necessities.

34 per cent of mums will buy fewer presents for their children, while 37 per cent of couples will exchange fewer gifts with partners.

Only 13 per cent of those mums surveyed said sufficient funds or savings meant their 'usual' Christmas would not be affected.

William Higham, of OnePoll, added: ''For a great number of families, this Christmas will be a very different affair with less presents and cards, and fewer things on the dining room table.''

OnePoll is a leading-edge market research company. Its online panel comprises well over 100,000 people in the UK alone.

It runs specialist panels MumPoll, YoungPoll and over-50s panel SilverPoll. It has run approximately 5,000 polls for 500 clients in the last 3 years.

Clients range across industries: from Kelloggs to Virgin Atlantic, Nat West to M&S.

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