£2m taxpayers' bill for families unable to afford funerals
Saturday 22 October 2011
Financially pressed families cannot afford to bury loved ones, and taxpayers increasingly have to foot the bill, a report has found.
Research by the Local Government Association found councils in England and Wales funded almost 3,000 funerals last year. Some 52 per cent of councils reported increases in families claiming not to have enough money to pay for funerals. Councils spent £2,110,000, with the average cost being £950.
David Rogers, chairman of the LGA's community wellbeing board, said the Government's complex 25-page form stopped families from claiming grants. He said the process was slow and often failed families faced with having to pay costs up-front. "The last thing a grieving relative needs is extra stress over whether they're going to be able to pay for and organise the funeral of their loved one," Mr Rogers said.
"There is a specific grant available to alleviate that situation, but it is so outdated, complex and confusing that it often prevents people getting the support they are entitled to."
Mr Rogers said the funeral payment covered burial or cremation costs but only provided up to £700 for other expenses, including funeral director costs. He said this had not been updated since 2003.
Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, when someone dies outside of a hospital and there is no next of kin or anyone else to foot the bill, the funeral arrangements and costs fall on councils.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing
Syrian teenager Usaid Barho reveals how he escaped from Isis using a suicide vest
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: *Flexible working in a relaxed ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This accountancy firm have an e...
£17000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Junior Mobile Application Devel...
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national Company that manu...