Chancellor challenged to #BurytheDebt for grieving families

One in six families are facing debt and distress after arranging a funeral. Vital government help with basic funeral costs was capped at £700 in 2003, far less than the cost of the most basic funeral.

Now campaigners, charities and funeral industry are calling on the Chancellor Philip Hammond to #BurytheDebt and raise the funeral fund so it covers the cost of a basic funeral and grieving families are not forced into poverty and debt.

The #BurytheDebt campaign was launched on Tuesday 17th October with a funeral debt procession in Parliament Square. Campaigners are asking people sign their petition to help put pressure on the Chancellor to act.

Sign the petition

Shrinking state support

The funeral fund was designed to cover the cost of a basic funeral for grieving families who would otherwise be unable to afford one. Spending on the fund has only increased by 4.5% since 1988 – with 2017 expenditure the lowest for 10 years, and the average funeral fund award only covers 40% of a basic funeral

Kristina’s story

In this short video, Fair Funerals spokesperson Kristina tells her story of struggling with her mum’s deal at the same time as crippling funeral debts.

Kristina says;
“With all the debt I couldn’t afford and the emotions from losing mum, I just couldn’t grieve in peace.”

Watch the 2 minute campaign video here

Chancellor challenged to act

Campaigners are asking the Chancellor to raise the amount of money available for funeral expenses in line with funeral cost inflation, which would bring it to £1,377. They are asking that this figure be up-rated annually in line with the retail price index.

Heather Kennedy, Fair Funerals campaigns manager says:

“In the fifth richest country in the world, it’s simply not good enough that grieving families are being forced into poverty and debt trying to arrange a simple funeral after someone they love dies. Our government needs to take action to address this growing public concern and guarantee everyone in dignity in death. By increasing the funeral fund, many grieving families would be spared the emotional and financial burden of not being unable to afford a respectful funeral.”

Sharing the video and petition
Please share the video and petition using the hashtag #BurytheDebt

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

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  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

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