Funeral Cost Price Rises.
Brighton and Hove Council has announced funeral cost price rises of up to 43% according to local paper The Argus. Local funeral directors must pass on the rise to grieving families, but fear that the families will blame them for something which is totally outside their control. The rises are expected to bring in £150,000 in extra income to Brighton & Hove Council.
Over in Wales, Powys County Council are bringing in some even higher funeral cost increases, of up to 65%. Local undertakers fear that families who have not preplanned will be forced to accept paupers funerals. This will of course mean that Powys’ plans could backfire with many families forced to avoid making funeral arrangements purely because of the vastly increased costs.
A somewhat different way of keeping funeral costs down is being adopted at a Bristol Crematorium. They have an alcohol licence so they can cater for the wake after the funeral! I assume they must have a very big car park, as that would be a limiting factor in most areas. The wake party would fill up all the parking spaces and no-one else would be able to get in! More on that story here.
Funeral Cost Price Rises – a Service to Locals?
Here at the Prepaid Funeral Review, we feel that funerals should not be looked at by Councils as a source of revenue, but as a last service to their citizens. There is some argument that folk from out of area should pay more commercial prices. With the increase in what are called Direct to Crematorium Funerals, undertakers will take the deceased to the cheapest crematorium within easy reach. As family are not allowed to attend this type of low cost funeral, it can be held out of normal crematorium hours. This provides extra revenue (if lower) for both the crematorium and the funeral director.
Funeral Cost Price Rises – an alternative?
The overheads of a crematorium are vast, and may people would find evening and weekend funeral more convenient. Why not extend the opening hours of existing crematoria, rather than be forced to build new ones?
Whatever the answer, families are increasingly faced with a stark choice.
- Plan for a funeral (ideally with our independent advice).
- Keep a large family fund of cash available at all times.
- Get into debt (and perhaps pay many times the normal cost of a funeral if you have to use a payday lender.)
- Keep your fingers crossed that the Local Authority or NHS will stump up for a paupers funeral and try to recover the cost from the deceased’s estate. To do this you will probably need to avoid taking any part in the arrangements, or you could be lumbered with the bill.