We have seen the cost of dying and burials increase significantly in recent years, despite many thousands of families facing hardship during the recession.
This has inevitably led to a dramatic increase in the number of so-called “paupers’ funerals”, adding to the financial burden carried by local authorities. Last year, local authorities in England and Wales carried out around 3000 of these funerals.
Over the last eight years, the cost of dying has risen by over 70%, with prices currently settling at around £3000. However, financial assistance provided by the government, for those who are unable to afford to bury their loved one, has remained at the same level as it was nine years ago. Currently, almost half of claims made for this assistance are denied, with successful claimants receiving up to a maximum of £1,200 – less than half the money needed for basic funeral costs.
Campaigners claim that this financial stress often exacerbates the grief and pressures faced by those left behind, who can then easily find themselves in debt. They are therefore lobbying for amendments to be made to the government grant system, particularly as it has been calculated that within eighteen years, an extra 100,000 deaths per year are likely to take place.