I looked up a few things on the internet, and was amazed to discover that funerals are political and economic issues here in Scotland:
Citizens Advice Scotland are concerned that some councils have increased their costs in recent years to cover shortfalls in overall budgets or ‘to bridge the gap between their charges and the national average’.
East Dunbartonshire Council (2013) raised cemetery charges by 18 per cent in their
2013/2014 budget to ‘deliver £84,000 of additional income’ which is being used to ‘protect frontline services’.
In response to a local newspaper (Kirkintilloch Herald, 2014) questioning the decision by the Council to raise costs by a further 50 per cent in 2014/2015 to raise an extra £89,000, a Council spokesperson said: “The Council had some very difficult decisions to make while facing increased budgetary pressures. Every effort was made, where possible, to introduce or increase charges for certain services, rather than removing services…”
Edinburgh City Council identified an increase in cemetery charges as part of their five year budget framework which would see an increase of between £13,000 and £26,000 income to cover budgetary pressures. The council said as part of their budget plans (Edinburgh City Council, 2013) that it ‘was operating in an extremely challenging financial climate brought on by central government spending cuts and the Scottish Government’s council tax freeze.’
That’s pretty shocking to me. How can I set aside funds to pay for funerals when councils can up the cost on a whim by 50% in a single year?