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‘Government plans for funeral grant don’t go nearly far enough’, campaigners claim

The government has announced plans to make their funeral fund ‘simpler and fairer’.

Campaigners and funeral experts are saying the plans laid out by the Government won’t go nearly far enough.

They won’t address the value of the fund, which was capped in 2003 and now only pays for around 40 percent of a funeral.

Research shows that one in seven of us would seriously struggle to afford a funeral if someone close to us died.

People are getting into unmanageable debt paying for funerals.

Royal London found that on average, people take on £1,600 worth of debt to cover funeral costs.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are consulting on their plans to improve the funeral fund.

They especially want to hear from people who have personal or professional experience of the fund. The deadline for responses is Monday 21st August.

 

A spokesperson from the Government said: “We recognise that the total cost of a funeral is often larger than the value of a Funeral Payment, and contributions from others can help recipients to meet the costs of the funeral.”

Heather Kennedy, the Fair Funerals campaigns manager says: “It’s great news that Government have answered calls to do something for the thousands of people every year who find themselves unable to afford a funeral when someone they love dies.

“We support people in this situation, and have seen the pain, trauma and poverty it causes. After years of ignoring the problem, the UK Government have recognised that the system is broken and needs to change.

“But these changes don’t go nearly far enough. They will do nothing to increase the value of the grant, which was capped in 2003 and now only pays for around 40% of a funeral. As the Government have spent less and less on the grant in real terms, more grieving people have been forced into funeral poverty, left with huge debts they have no way of paying off.

“The Government must commit to increase the value of the funeral grant. In the sixth richest nation in the world, surely we can make sure that everyone has access to a decent, respectful funeral.”

About Domonique Wilsher

Domonique Wilsher
A graduate with a degree in Journalism, Dom enjoys reading and perfecting her cupcake making skills. Please feel free to drop her an email for any potential news stories.

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