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Cut-price UK funerals

If you want a really cheap funeral in the UK then head to Northern Ireland, where a burial costs around $4,250, against a UK average of $6,000. That’s the cheapest departure you can find in the UK today. Funerals in Enfield, part of Greater London, come in at an eye-watering $16,845.

Last year there were more than 40,000 applications for government help to pay funeral bills.

But you are better off in the UK than in the US, where costs are high and there’s precious little federal or state aid to help. Which perhaps explains why Lawrence Robert Meadows and Roderick Mitchell Cummings, both 40, have been charged with the offence of desecration of human remains, a conviction of which carries a sentence of one to 10 years in prison.

Meadows and Cummings, two South Carolina funeral parlour workers, refused to cremate 63 year-old Mary Alice Pitts Moore after her funeral in March 2015, because the family did not pay their bill. So the corpse just lay there and decayed, under some blankets.

Maybe funerals should be nationalised, or at least the prices set by the state, as China is considering.