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Fife is Scotland’s highest public funeral spender, research finds

Fife has spent more on public service funerals than anywhere else in Scotland, new figures suggest.

According to The Courier, Fife topped the list of the 32 councils as well as being announced as the tenth in the UK in the report with a total spent of £63,579 on 49 public service funerals in 2018/19.

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The figures from a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request by insurance firm Royal London, revealed that Birmingham City Council spent £967,658 on 287 funerals in the period and Armagh City Council and Craigavon Borough Council in Northern Ireland, were ranked the lowest spenders after spending £250 on one funeral.

The report also said that Fife is “going above and beyond” what other councils are doing when it comes to supporting families when covering the cost of a public health funeral, which includes collecting the deceased, a basic coffin and a hearse as part of the funeral.

The average cost of a funeral in fife decreased to £1,297 from £1,507 in 2018/19. The most common reason was 28% of public health funerals were carried out by councils because the deceased had no family, according to the FOI request.

Also, the report revealed 29% were unable to pay for the funerals of their loved one.

Louise Eaton-Terry, funeral cost expert at Royal London, said: “Councils are continuing to take on the increasing cost of public health funerals for individuals who, sadly, have no family. The research also shows that families who are unable to afford the cost of a funeral for their loved one are turning to their local council for help.

“Whilst each council has a duty to arrange a funeral in these circumstances, it’s interesting to see the difference in spend on public health funerals by local authorities across the UK. Some councils are going above and beyond arranging a simple funeral while others do not allow families to attend the funeral.”

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