Funeral Costs Plan “a major step”

words: Michael Fern

Golden Charter has welcomed the Scottish Government’s ten-point plan to address funeral poverty in Scotland.

The plan provider has been active and vocal in calling on the Scottish Government to explore sympathetic and dignified solutions, enabling the limited funds in the public purse to be directed at those who need it most. The rise in “paupers’ funerals” and the growing uncertainty about how to cover the cost of funerals has made this need all the more urgent.

In particular, Golden Charter welcomed new guidance on funeral costs and consumer protection for funeral plans. It has been lobbying both Scottish and Westminster Governments about the need for consumers to be fully aware of what they are buying when they purchase a funeral plan.

Golden Charter’s Director of Communications Gordon Swan said: “The Funeral Costs Plan is a major step forward in addressing a huge issue for families, and Golden Charter is committed to continue working to support solutions for funeral poverty. We welcome all developments that increase transparency and certainty for consumers and are gratified that many of the initiatives we have supported through the consultation process have appeared in the report.”

Golden Charter has also campaigned on the need to make the process of applying for Government aid in meeting funeral costs more simple and streamlined. The current system is complex and lengthy, and can leave bereaved families facing long and uncertain waits before finding out if they will be eligible for government support in meeting funeral costs.

Gordon added: “We have already developed lower cost pre-paid funeral plans to help make planning ahead more affordable, and independent funeral directors are working to ensure total transparency on funeral costs.

“People need to know that saving and planning for their funeral will be worthwhile and the success of pre-paid funeral plans demonstrates that.

“The Government’s commitment to improve advice on planning for funerals and provide guidance on costs will help in this process ahead of the planned launch of a new Funeral Expense Assistance Benefit in 2019.”

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