Advice regarding funerals has risen in recent years, as our recent Real Deal publication on the subject highlighted, and the CAB service now helps with just over one issue a day in Scotland regarding funerals.
In 2013/2014 advice regarding funerals rose by 27 per cent compared with the previous year. Many of these cases relate to the cost of the funerals although other issues, such as conduct of funeral directors and memorial provision are raised.
We are pleased that the Government have listened to our concerns regarding the disappointing rise in the number of Scots who are now struggling to pay for a funeral for a loved one and have looked to address these concerns in this bill. We are committed as an organisation to help advise clients about how best to arrange and afford a funeral. We are also campaigning to control the costs that consumers must bear for what is a large and often unplanned expense at a time when they are particularly vulnerable.
As part of our response we have highlighted an additional area, National Assistance Funerals, on which we have undertaken research since the publication of our recent publication on funeral costs. We believe that there are a number of issues with the current provision of national assistance funerals and how these are administered and we believe that this bill represents an opportunity to deal with these issues.