Guest column: Sky-high funeral costs are both extortionate and unfair

Last year, I wrote about a constituent who had contacted me regarding the unaffordable costs of paying for a close relative's funeral.

Friday, 12th January 2018, 5:30 am
John Mann MP

This highlighted for me the issue of funeral poverty, which is a growing problem in the UK.

The average funeral now costs more than £4,000 and this has risen by 112 per cent in the past 13 years.

There is also now the situation where costs of cremation can vary by about £400 and very much relates to who owns and runs the crematorium.

This is extortionate and I am looking for explanations for why there have been such a huge price hikes.

Sadly, people are getting into debt to pay for a loved one’s funeral.

We now have a situation where the most basic of funerals, known as public health funeral where all the costs are covered by the state, can provide a better quality and more dignified funeral than one on the cheapest rate at £3,000 with the majority of the payment being demanded up front in advance.

I fel this is all because the funeral industry is unregulated.

The funeral business is worth £2 billion, yet there are no checks or balances to make sure that the business is not exploiting people.

The Fair Funerals campaign highlights all of these problems and is calling for a Parliamentary review of funeral services, as well as proposing the establishing of a simple funeral service for those on low incomes.

I fully support this campaign and I am currently in the process of gathering experiences of those who feel they have had to pay far too much money for a funeral or have gone into debt in order to cover the charges.

If this applies to you, and in your view you have been overcharged, please email me at [email protected] or call my office on 01909 506200.

The school admission deadline is imminent and I understand that there are more than 1,000 children in the area who have not been registered for a primary school place.

If your child will be five years old between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019, they will be due to start school in September this year.

You can apply for a school place online at where the application takes around 20 minutes to complete.

The deadline for applying is Monday, January 15 and information can be found on the Nottinghamshire County Council website.

At this time of year, there is a demand for donations at Bassetlaw Food Bank.

The rollout of Universal Credit means that there will be a greater demand still.

This week it needs cereal, soup, pasta, rice, pasta sauce, beans, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tea, coffee, tinned fruit and biscuits.

You can donate items to my office on Stanley Street in Worksop.