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Funeral plans must be regulated warns MP

Prepaid funeral plans should be bound by the same rules as other financial services, according to Neil Gray MP.

Currently there is no regulation governing the sale of funeral plans.

In a Private Members’ Bill, Gray will call for funeral plans to be brought under the jurisdiction of the Financial Conduct Authority.

Charities and campaigners are asking for hidden costs to be revealed to those who purchase plans.

The Bill is being supported by politicians from across political parties and is co-sponsored by the Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Neil Gray, pushing for prepaid plans to be regulated, says: “It’s clear to me that prepaid funeral plans are a good idea that can help alleviate funeral poverty. However, Citizens Advice Scotland reported earlier this year that there are huge concerns with how the plans are being sold and what customers can expect from them.

“I have tabled this proposed Bill to fulfil one of the key recommendations of that report and I hope this will spark the necessary debate to ensure consumers are protected and have the full confidence in these plans.

“I am delighted to have cross party support for the Bill being introduced and look forward to working with the UK Government and industry leaders.”

Heather Kennedy, the Fair Funerals campaign manager says: “Funeral and over fifties plans can be good ways of protecting yourself from the high, often unexpected cost of a funeral. But if these plans are to be an antidote to funeral poverty, we need to make them fit for purpose.

“Terms and conditions are in too many cases confusing and opaque and there is a lack of transparent information about what you’re actually buying and whether it covers the full cost of a funeral. People can end up paying in far more than they get out, losing their money if they miss a single payment, or finding that the value of their plans actually falls well short of the total funeral bill.

“We welcome Neil Gray’s call to make the funeral plans industry more transparent and fair. The last thing bereaved people need is a nasty shock when they find out the funeral plan their relative bought wasn’t such a great deal after all.”

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