Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Friday, 4 May 2007 11:58 UK

UK families need two wage packets

Female worker
Many families need all adults to work

Nearly half of all UK families need two or more salaries to cover the bills and live comfortably, a survey from Scottish Widows suggests.

Families with more than one child rely even more on two salaries, 51% of whom say they could not cope without them.

High household bills and debts are putting pressure on family finances - so much so that young mums are being forced to work.

In addition, the survey revealed that a quarter of UK families have no savings.

Families which rely on two workers and have small or no savings are at serious risk if the economy takes a downturn, Scottish Widows said.

"This reliance on two incomes to buy and run the family home means millions of households are effectively doubling the risk of financial hardship should one of the breadwinners become unable to work," said Richard Jones, Scottish Widows spokesman.

Interestingly, levels of debt seem to increase in line with family size.

The average two-child household has more than 100,000 mortgage, loan and credit card debt, the survey found.

This compares to just 82,000 average debt for families with no children.

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