Cynon AM supports new awareness campaign to tackle funeral poverty

A new awareness campaign to tackle funeral poverty has been launched in Wales.

Terminal illness charity Marie Curie is calling for urgent action to prevent more people falling into unmanageable debt due to spiralling funeral costs.

Paul Harding, Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Marie Curie Wales, said:

“Marie Curie believes that everyone across Wales should have the right to a dignified funeral without the legacy of unmanageable debt. The high cost of funerals means this may not currently be possible for some people.

“In 2004, the average cost of a basic funeral was just under than £2,000. Today, that price has more than doubled to over £4,000 – a big increase.

“The average cost of a funeral with a burial can vary by as much as £800 depending on your council area and vary by £250 if you opt for a cremation. Many local authorities also charge considerably more for non-residents, so this is something families need to consider.

“With limited financial support for those in need drying up, funeral costs remaining high and with an aging population the level of funeral poverty here is only likely to increase unless we take urgent action.”

Vikki Howells said:

I joined Marie Curie in prompting the Funeral Poverty Charter. The Charter calls for clearer information about funeral costs for bereaved people, and affordable and comparable funeral costs across Wales.

“This is something that has affected many of my constituents in Cynon Valley and causes distress at a very difficult time for bereaved families”.

One in six people across the UK say they struggle with funeral costs, and funeral poverty reached a record £160m last year. Research also links funeral poverty and financial stress following bereavement to mental health issues like psychological distress, guilt and depression.


Notes to Editors

Three sets of figures to support the above article are:

  • Average funeral costs per year from 2004-2018 (Source Page 6)
  • The most expensive place for a basic funeral with burial in Wales is Bridgend and costs £4,243, the cheapest is in Pontypridd at £3,447 (£796 difference). The most expensive place for a basic funeral with a cremation in Wales is Aberystwyth and costs £3,368, the cheapest is in Cardiff at £3,113 (£255 difference) (Source Page 40)
  • For a burial in Blaenau Gwent the cemetery fee alone for residents is £1,591 and £4,177 for non-residents (£2,586 difference) (Source)

Marie Curie is the leading charity providing care to people with any terminal illness in their own homes or in one of its nine hospices. The charity is also a leader in research into the best ways of caring for people with a terminal illness. In addition to this the charity designs and advises on end of life services and works to ensure that the best possible care and patient choice is at the heart of commissioning end of life care across the UK.  All Marie Curie services are completely free of charge. Around 70% of the charity’s income comes from donations with the balance of funds coming from the NHS.

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For more details about this release please email [email protected] or phone 07515 135 235