Study reveals families struggling to cope with funeral costs

Funeral cost increases causing concern
Funeral cost increases causing concern

BEREAVED FAMILIES SHOULD receive more help to deal with soaring costs of burials and cremations according to a study carried out by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

Research published by the watchdog indicates that there is a ‘postcode lottery’ in operation when it comes to the charges faced by families around the country.

In their ‘Cost of Saying Goodbye’ report, CAS say that the basic cost of burial fees, which does not include undertakers fees, flowers or cars, is now £1273 – a 10% increase over the last year.

The average cost in Moray has been given by CAS as £1373 – showing no increase since 2014, but still significantly above the £694 that bereaved families might expect to pay in the Western Isles, and around £100 higher than the national average.

Neighbouring local authority Aberdeenshire showed an alarming 42% increase in costs over the year, while there was a 20% rise in Highland.

CAS spokesman Fraser Sutherland said: “When someone dies you have to pay not just the funeral directors, florists etc, but you also have to pay your local authority for the costs of the internment and lair.

“What we have found is that there has been an average 10% rise in burial costs since last year and that the same postcode lottery exists. We have found again that cremations are a much less expensive form of saying goodbye with an average charge of £601.

“However, even this is 5% higher than the charges last year and is a difficult amount for families to find, especially if the bereavement is sudden.”

Mr Sutherland added that CAS had met with Scottish Government ministers and would continue to work with other campaign groups to highlight the issues and campaign for changes.