Councils push up the cost of funerals
An investigation by BBC Breakfast has found that many councils across Britain have increased the amount they charge for burials and cremations.
At the centre of the report was grieving mother, Samantha West, whose first child, Cameron, was still born in August last year.
Samantha was stunned when she discovered the costs of burying her son. Charges imposed by the Rhondda Cynon Taf council in South Wales, include more than £600 for the grave and £150 for a permit to put up a head stone.
“When we found out the cost of the council charges we were upset, disgusted, they don’t realise how much of an impact it has on people who are grieving” Samantha continued, ‘they’re targeting the most vulnerable at a time when they need help and support.’
The Rhondda Cynon Taf council is not alone in raising their costs, the fee for cremation in South Tyneside will rise by 18% this year, similarly in Milton Keynes burial costs are going up by 20% and in Renfrewshire the price of purchasing a grave is increasing by a staggering 47% in April this year.
Richard Kemp from the Local Government Association defended these rising costs explaining, ‘at the moment councils are being hit very heavily’. His constituency in Liverpool has been forced to reduce its budget by 8.8%, Kemp added, ‘we have to look at every single item of expenditure and think what’s fair’.
Across the country councils have been increasing a variety of different charges as their central budget is cut pushing up costs of everything from parking charges to library services being affected. Emma Boon from Tax Payers’ Alliance said “I think it’s absolutely outrageous that some councils are putting up burial and funeral charges…councils are stealth taxing dead people! It’s completely unfair, councils need to cut their spending”.