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Families face ‘postcode’ lottery for funeral costs

 

Beareaved families are facing a ‘postcode lottery’ on funeral costs, according to the 2016 Royal London National Funeral Cost Index.

Data obtained from the Institute of Cemetery & Crematorium Management highlights the postcode lottery on funeral costs.

The cost of a funeral differs depending on where you live in the UK, with charges ranging from £2,917 for a burial in Belfast, to £9,679 for a burial in Kensal Green in London.

Cremation costs are significantly lower in comparison to burials, with Greenock in Scotland (£2,873) being the cheapest.

With one in seven (15 percent) struggling with funeral costs, Royal London is calling for changes to be made.

Amongst those who struggled, one in four said they borrowed money from family and friends (27 percent) or went into debt by taking out a loan or going into their overdraft (24 percent) to pay funeral costs.

 

Commenting on the findings Mona Patel, Royal London’s consumer spokesperson, said:

“When dealing with the loss of a loved one, the last thing that people need is financial stress as well. It is shocking that more than 90,000 people had to borrow an average of £1,600 simply to give their loved ones a decent send off. It is vital that the Government tackles funeral poverty by addressing the flaws with the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment.

“This includes the length of time it takes to get a payment which then often falls far short of the cost of the funeral. The funeral industry also needs to address consumer demand for a simpler and cheaper funeral option, by providing more access to direct cremation and direct burials.”

 

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