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Christmas 'Will cost parents £2.2 billion'

By Paul Donovan

A whopping £2.2 billion could be spent by parents on presents for their children this Christmas despite the economic uncertainties, a survey has suggested.

Mothers and fathers plan to spend an average £168 on gifts per youngster.

About half of parents will spend either the same or a greater amount on their offspring than they did in 2009.

A quarter of people quizzed for the Cost of a Child survey by home insurance, investment and retirement group LV= said they believe they are under greater financial pressure than they were last year.

With the increased value of goods in a property in the run-up to Christmas as gifts are stockpiled, it is important people make sure the items are covered under their home insurance.

The poll of 546 parents with children under 18 found two thirds plan to spend less on other family members this year, to help balance their budgets.

Toddlers under four will typically have £124 spent on them and the average child aged 11 to 18 will receive £201-worth of gifts.

The survey findings suggest parents in the North East are the most generous, spending an average £226 on presents, £58 more than the national average. Those in the East Midlands will spend £151 per child.

Parents in London intend to splash out an average of £162 on their sons and daughters.

However, a third said they will need to cut back on what they spend on presents for their children.

One in 10 said they had told their children not to expect as much this year to avoid tears on Christmas morning.

Mark Jones, LV= head of protection, said: "Despite the economic downturn parents are still keen to make Christmas one to remember this year.

"It's important that people try and look beyond the short term and also ensure that they have suitable budgets and long-term financial plans in place."

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