A pauper’s death

Local authorities in the UK spent 3.5% more on ‘pauper’ funerals in the 12 months up to April 2018 than in the same period for 2017, a total of more than £5.3 million.

Biggest spender by far was Birmingham, where the bill was £990,437, for 395 funerals or about once council-funded funeral for every 22 deaths.

Local authorities are required by law to arrange a public health funeral when no arrangements have been made for a deceased person in their area. These ‘pauper’s funerals’  include a coffin and the services of a funeral director. Family and friends can attend but the no frills service doesn’t include flowers or transport for family. Some council burials take place in an unmarked shared grave.

Picture source: William Murphy