Charity says 'Dickensian Christmas' beckons for some North West children

Action For Children say many parents can't afford winter coats Credit: PA

The charity Action for Children says changes to benefits and rising prices will see some families go into debt or go without this Christmas. In a survey of 2,000 people the charity says a fifth said they would be cutting back on Christmas essentials.

In the North West it's reported 41% of families will cut back on essentials whilst 20% of parents in the region will get into debt to cover cost.

It blames the controversial introduction of Universal Credit and increase in prices in the shops. The charity claims its analysis of government figures shows about a million children under 10 will go without winter coats, or fresh food this festive season.

The government has insisted its reforms offered parents tailored support to help them into work, "which remains the best route out of poverty".