The Final rip-off

Just look at this scam:-

  • The Scottish government set the fiscal policy and cap local budgets;
  • The local governments set the costs of funerals and are using them to pay for “frontline services”;
  • The costs vary dramatically depending on where you live/ die;
  • The costs are hiked every year to suit council budgets;
  • The UK government social fund for the poor is not enough to stop people having to go into debt to pay for funerals;
  • You might get landed with an estranged relative’s funeral costs; and
  • You can’t rely on leaving your body to science to avoid these costs.

That is a really bad situation: it’s a set-up. It looks like you have no option but to pay what they ask – but you cannot budget for it, and the social fund won’t help. You are likely to have to take out a loan.

Summary of findings

  • Basic funeral costs in the UK have risen on average by 7 per cent every year
    since 2004, substantially above the rate of inflation.
  • The average total cost for a basic funeral in 2014 for a cremation is £2,610 and
    £3,240 for a burial.
  • The number of clients attending CAB across Scotland regarding funerals has
    increased 27 per cent in 2013/2014 compared with the previous year. The
    Scottish CAB network is now assisting with just over one case every day
    regarding the costs of funerals.
  • A postcode lottery of burial/cremation costs exists in Scotland with local authorities charging widely ranging fees. CAS research shows:
    • The most expensive local authority for burials, East Dunbartonshire (£2716), charges four times as much as one of the cheapest, East Renfrewshire (£715). This means there is only seven miles between the most expensive place to be buried on mainland Scotland and the cheapest.
    • CAS found that 5 of the 32 Local Authorities in Scotland did not publish the details of burial costs and cremation services on their websites these are: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, Perth and Kinross and Orkney.
    • Cremations also widely differ in price with Perth and Kinross council being the most expensive (£730) of the 12 councils to offer cremation facilities, more expensive than the average private cremation.
    • 20 Councils in Scotland do not run crematorium services meaning residents will have to travel to neighbouring communities or use private facilities. The private crematoriums in Dundee, Moray and Angus charge £830 which is 40 per cent more than Highland Council’s charge for a cremation in Inverness.

-The Real Deal, a Report by CAS

I have to think…

How about, instead of being buried/ cremated in Glasgow – we could look at East Renfrewshire instead. According to the CAS report:-

City of Glasgow 2014:
£ 842.00 Internment
£1120.00 Lair
£1962.00 Total

East Renfrewshire 2014:
£ 370.00 Internment
£ 345.00 Lair
£ 715.00 Total

This is under half price. But there is a catch. There is always a catch. I checked out the website for East Renfrewshire. The cemetery charges showed a BIG difference between local residents and people – like me – trying to save some money by getting buried in a cheaper local authority area.

The first thing I noticed is that the costs have jumped in one year – and also that it is more expensive to be buried at the weekend or on public holidays. I’ll take the cheapest option for comparison purposes:

East Renfrewshire UPDATED 2015:
£ 500.00 Internment
£ 465.00 Lair
£ 965.00 Total

East Renfrewshire for non-resident 2015:
£1500.00 Internment
£1700.00 Lair
£3200.00 Total

Checking back on Glasgow’s costs is trickier as they do not publish them. I got the figures buried (ha ha) in a pdf called Glasgow City Council Land & Environmental Services Charges 2016/17.

City of Glasgow 2016:
£ 875.00 Internment
£1165.00 Lair
£2040.00 Total

So I’ve gone from thinking I had an option of avoiding Glasgow’s £1962 by going a couple of miles to East Ren and paying £715, to Glasgow’s £2040 being a much cheaper option to East Ren’s massive £3200. Imagine paying £3520 for a weekend funeral!

Well it was worth a try. I think I need to speak with a Funeral Director face-to-face to see if there are deals or packages to be had.

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4 thoughts on “The Final rip-off

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