Families join forces in face of vat increase as the pinch continues to take hold. The recent increase in VAT to 20 per cent has hit consumers hard, particularly those with young families. With Ed Miliband’s predictions that the average family will be £7.50 worse off a week as a result, many families are pulling together to beat the squeeze. While the VAT increase will not apply to everyday food items, fuel prices received a double whammy with an increase of 0.76p in fuel duty, causing many families to reassess their routines. According to The Scotsman, a survey of 1200 people by Halfords found that 44 per cent of parents have spoken to friends about sharing the school run and driving children to after-school activities. In addition, 78 per cent of those polled said they intend to limit grocery buying to one big shopping trip per week as opposed to regular smaller trips in an attempt to reduce fuel costs. At least the planet will benefit from the VAT increase, if nothing else.