Two people wearing black suits hold hands at a funeral ceremony.

We join working group on funeral poverty

May 2, 2016

Humanist Society Scotland has been invited to join the Scottish Working Group on Funeral Poverty, which was established to investigate the rising costs of funerals in Scotland.

In June 2015 Citizens Advice Scotland published the Cost of Saying Goodbye report regarding the rising and varying cost of funerals in Scotland. In the report CAB highlight the large differences in what people pay for burial and cremation fees depending on the local authority area where they live. The research has revealed a significant variation in the basic costs of burial which can vary by as much as four times depending on where someone lives in Scotland.

Citizens Advice Scotland released another report in February 2016 calling for funeral director and local authority costs to be more consistent and bereavement support more widely available.

The independent report’s recommendations included:
• Ensuring social security funeral payments meet the real costs of a funeral
• Parity in burial and cremation charges charged by local authorities
• Licensing of funeral directors
• Encouraging people to talk about their own funeral wishes with their families
• A new national ‘Scottish Funeral Bond’ to standardise costs and allow more people to save for their own funeral

Humanist Society Scotland supports the work of the Scottish Working Group on Funeral Poverty and the Scottish Government to tackle issues related to funeral poverty. HSS provides funeral ceremonies for Humanists in Scotland, as well as a range of other meaningful Humanist ceremonies.

Yuletide Lunch 1712215 (149 of 157)
Lynsey Kidd, HSS Head of Ceremonies and Chaplaincy, will represent HSS on the Working Group

 

Commenting Lynsey Kidd, HSS Head of Ceremonies and Chaplaincy, said:

“We have a serious issue in Scotland when people are being put at financial risk during one of the most challenging times in life.

“The death of a loved one should be a time for mourning, remembering and indeed celebrating a life well-lived, not a time of financial stress.

“Our HSS Registered Celebrants conduct thousands of funeral ceremonies every year for Humanists in Scotland. Our Humanist Celebrants are highly trained and spend time with families to guide them through the difficult process of funeral planning. We welcome any and all changes that can be made to help people in these difficult and challenging times.

“We are delighted to be invited to be part of this working group and look forward to working with our colleagues and partners to make real progress towards alleviating issues of funeral poverty in Scotland.”


Notes:

For further information or comment contact Gary McLelland on gary@humanism.scot or 07813060713.

Humanist Society Scotland is only the second faith or belief group to be asked to join the Scottish Working Group on Funeral Poverty, the other being the Church of Scotland.

You can read the HSS response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a Proposed Bill Relating to Burial and Cremation and Other Related Matters in Scotland (funeral poverty section only): https://www.humanism.scot/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HSS-Response-to-Scottish-Government-consultation-on-Funeral-Poverty.pdf

In February 2016 Citizens Advice Scotland released a new report on behalf of the Scottish Government to examine issues of funeral poverty: http://www.cas.org.uk/publications/funeral-poverty

The Scottish Government’s response can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/fairerscotland/future-powers/Publications

The Scottish Government’s new Arranging a Funeral? leaflet can be found at: https://www.mygov.scot/arrange-funeral/

HSS Registered Celebrants have recommended fees for funeral ceremonies, which includes conducting free funeral ceremonies for those aged under 16 years of age.

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