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Burial charges up 27% on average since 2014

Burial charges across Scotland have increased on average by over £250 since 2014 – that’s three and a half times the rate of inflation.

Citizens Advice Scotland is today publishing its annual league table of burial charges in Scotland by Local Authority.  Key findings include:

• The average burial charge this year is £1,428. That’s an increase on average of 5.5% since last year.
• Taken over the period since we started recording these figures in 2014, the average increase is 27% (just over £250).
• Cremation charges have also increased in Scotland this year, with the average rising by £25, to £743.

Publishing our latest Cost of Saying Goodbye report, CAS consumer spokesperson Ruth Mendel says,

“This year we again see an increase in burial costs across most areas, though it is notable that a quarter of Scottish Councils froze their charges from last year.

“What is striking is that the average charge has increased by 27% since 2014, which is 3.5 times the rate of inflation. That is a substantial increase at a time when many families will have seen their incomes fall.

“Our data also shows that there remains a postcode lottery in burial costs in Scotland, with some Councils charging significantly higher fees than others just a few miles away.

“Bereavement is a difficult time for any family, and the financial side of planning and paying for a funeral or cremation can of course compound the emotional difficulties, particularly for those who are on lower incomes or where the bereavement is unexpected.

“In publishing this data we hope to sensitively encourage people to think ahead and plan for funeral and cremation fees. And while we understand the financial pressures that Local Authorities face, we urge them to consider the impact that high burial charges can have on people at what can be one of the most difficult times in their lives.”  

NB The burial charge tables in our report include only the costs charged by the Local Authority for the lair (grave) and internment fees. This data does not include fees charged by Funeral Directors, florists, churches, receptions etc. These would be additional. 

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