Local councils milk the dead

As budget cuts bite into the revenues of local councils in Britain, they have found a way of making up the difference.

Put up the cost of dying.

In the past year the basic charges at council-run crematoriums have soared by as much as 30%.

The average cost for a council funeral in the UK is now £3,700, which pays for burial or cremation costs, the hire of a god-botherer to preside, and hearse rental.

Over the past year Milton Keynes council has increased its basic charges from £1,460 to £2,100 at eight cemeteries, a rise of almost 44%, while Watford council’s charges have gone up by almost 50%, from £1,325 to £1,975.

Where you live (and die) drastically affects the fees you pay.

London is by far the most expensive, with four cemeteries in Wandsworth, South-West London, charging £4,561, almost 18 times more than the £255 fee charged by Cross Cemetery, run by Fermanagh & Omagh district council in Northern Ireland.

If you have a private company handling the funeral, the costs rise considerably.


Picture source: Robert Wade via Wikimedia