The cost of funerals in Scotland

A new report has called on government ministers to have councils justify the rising cost of funerals in Scotland.

The report, from the Scottish Working Group on Funeral Poverty and Citizens Advice Scotland, revealed a wide range of prices set by local councils for burial plots and cremations.

More than 1,000 funerals take place in Scotland every week, with the average cost now more than £3,500, despite many low income families having no savings organised to cover such expenses.

The report also called upon Scottish ministers to “require local authorities to justify any increases in burial/cremation charges” that are above the rate of inflation. It also called for the Scottish

Government to launch a new national ‘Scottish Funeral Bond’ to standardise costs.

John Birrell, the author of the findings, told the Scotsman newspaper: “I am increasingly concerned that if action is not taken bereaved relatives are going to experience more and more distress and I hope the suggestions made in our report will go some way to mitigate this.”

Scotland’s Social Justice Secretary, Alex Neil, revealed to the paper that he would consider introducing a Scottish Funeral Bond, and said: “This could help unlock lower cost options for people who choose them.”