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Funeral cost plan for children needed, says Labour

Labour has asked the government to help bereaved families to cover funeral costs for children who die under the age of 16.

 

Jeremy Corbyn said “losing a child is unimaginable” as Labour called for Chancellor Philip Hammond to allocate £10 million in the Autumn Statement to pay for the plan, reports BT news.

The proposal hopes that no grieving family will have to pay for a burial plot or cremation, and this will be provided by local authorities.

About 5,000 children and young people die each year, with over two-thirds dying before their first birthday.

Shadow communities and local government secretary Teresa Pearce said: “Sadly, each year around 5000 children die, many of them in their infancy.

“If the Government accept our proposal to provide free burial for children, it would go some way to reducing the strain for those grieving families.

“While we must always be careful with public expenditure, the cost of this scheme for Government is minimal when compared to the benefits it could bring.”

At present, local authorities across England have different charging regimes for the burial or cremation of children, with some already offering the service for free.

The cost of Labour’s plan is based on using the most expensive council fee and multiplying it by the number of child deaths a year.

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