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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 00:01 GMT
Kids plundering parents' savings
Coins handover
It is more than pocket money that parents are giving their adult children
Once it was just the magic fridge that children raided, only for it to be refilled by their parents.

Now a survey claims adult youngsters are plundering their parents' savings at an increasing rate.

Some 55% of parents polled had given an average of 12,610 to their children or grandchildren, according to the survey by Scottish Widows.

Four in 10 used the money to pay off debts, and one in three to get on the property ladder.

The YouGov poll of 5,783 adults suggested a 16% increase in the number of parents giving or lending money to their offspring, compared with 39% last year.

More than half (52%) also claimed that they were expecting to have to hand over some more in the future.

Retirement funds

More than a third (36%) of those asked said that they had been planning to use the money in retirement, although 63% said they were happy to help out.

"It seems that although people could well be tightening the purse strings at a time when the credit crunch could affect finances, adult children are still managing to extract what they can from mum and dad," said Anne Young, of Scottish Widows.

Four in ten (42%) of recipients use the money to pay off debts, compared with 22% last year, the survey says.

Nearly a third (29%) used it to help buy a house. This figure might be expected to rise, following the recent end of 125% mortgage deals and a squeeze on first-time buyers when Nationwide interest rates for borrowers without substantial deposits were raised.

Other typical uses for the loans were to pay for a car, living expenses, education fees or household expenses such as furnishings, the survey said.

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