New awareness campaign to tackle funeral poverty

Clwyd West Assembly Member Darren Millar has welcomed a new awareness campaign to tackle funeral poverty which has been launched in Wales.

Terminal illness charity Marie Curie is calling for urgent action to prevent more people falling into unmanageable debt due to spiralling funeral costs.

Paul Harding, Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Marie Curie Wales, said:

“Marie Curie believes that everyone across Wales should have the right to a dignified funeral without the legacy of unmanageable debt. The high cost of funerals means this may not currently be possible for some people. 

“In 2004, the average cost of a basic funeral was just under than 2,000. Today, that price has more than doubled to over 4,000 – a big increase.

“The average cost of a funeral with a burial can vary by as much as 800 depending on your council area and vary by 250 if you opt for a cremation. Many local authorities also charge considerably more for non-residents, so this is something families need to consider. 

“With limited financial support for those in need drying up, funeral costs remaining high and with an aging population the level of funeral poverty here is only likely to increase unless we take urgent action.”

Darren joined Marie Curie in prompting the Funeral Poverty Charter, which calls for clearer information about funeral costs for bereaved people, and affordable and comparable funeral costs across Wales.  

He said:

“One in six people across the UK say they struggle with funeral costs, and funeral poverty reached a record 160m last year. Research also links funeral poverty and financial stress following bereavement to mental health issues like psychological distress, guilt and depression. I therefore welcome the action being taken by Marie Curie to tackle the problem.”