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Gender pay gap emerges in children’s pocket money

Savings piggy bank
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A gender pay gap is emerging in the amount of pocket money UK parents give their children. Even at the tender age of under 15, it seems boys receive significantly more than girls — and, like their dads at work, are more insistent in asking for more.

Parents are forking out an average £6.55 per week to children, according to the annual Halifax pocket money survey, the highest level recorded since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007.

However, boys received an average of £6.93 per week — almost 12 per cent higher than the average £6.16 parents gave to their daughters.

Last year, boys also received more pocket money than girls, but the gap was just 2 per cent, the Halifax said.

Despite receiving significantly more, boys were also more likely to complain that they were not receiving enough money. This year, 44 per cent of boys said they thought their parents should give them a rise, compared to 39 per cent of girls.

"Just like in the modern workplace, I suspect there is an element of 'if you don't ask, you don't get' as some little girls are probably too nice to ask for more," said Lindsay Cook, co-founder of consumer website Money Fight Club.

"Really, girls should get in some practice before they enter the world of work. In my experience, a large proportion of employees never ask for a raise, but wait until they are given one."

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The latest ONS data show that the gender pay gap for adults is 9.4 per cent, based on the median earnings of full-time employees.

The Halifax survey, now in its 29th year, used data drawn from nearly 1,800 parents and children aged 15 and under which was weighted to be entirely representative of previous years. The high street bank also found that nearly four-fifths of children were saving some of their pocket money, with nearly one in eight saving all of it.

On average, parents reported that they started giving regular pocket money between the ages of six and seven.

Giles Martin, head of Halifax savings, said he found it "reassuring" to see that levels of pocket money were increasing.

"Some parents are clearly not feeling the pinch in the same way that they have done in recent years, when weekly pocket money dipped as low as £5.89," he said.

"It's likely it will be a few more years until we reach the dizzy heights of £8.37 in 2005 though, when we saw the highest average pocket money since our records began in 1987."

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