City must keep funding funerals says Aitken

FORMER council leader Ewan Aitken today said the city council must continue to help poverty-stricken grieving families who can't afford a funeral.

New figures have shown that the number of funerals the city council has had to pay for has increased by almost 50 per cent in recent years.

Last year, 130 people had their funeral funded by the council in Edinburgh, with the recession being blamed for leaving families too cash-strapped to even bury the deceased.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The rise in the number of times that the local authority has to pick up the tab for funerals is seen as a sign of how stretched some family budgets have become in the recession.

Cllr Aitken said: "The credit crunch has meant all of our lives are exposed to difficulty, even in death. It is a mark of a civilised society that we help people in their hour of need.

"Even although we (the council] are under huge financial pressure, I trust we will continue to do so in this time of need."

A new pricing structure that increased the cost of funerals came into force in April in Edinburgh. The burial fee for adults in council cemeteries increased by 5.1 per cent to 812. And when other funeral costs are factored in it is estimated that the cost increased by 100 last month to an average of around 2,023.

Related topics: