Social Justice

Scottish government launches new benefit for funeral poverty

Ministers at Holyrood have a new 10-point plan to help families struggling with the rising costs of arranging a funeral

Many families are left struggling with debt after burying a loved one, with funeral costs spiralling up to several thousands of pounds.

The Scottish Government has announced a new 10-point plan to tackle funeral poverty, including a new Funeral Expense Assistance benefit available to families by the summer of 2019.

We know funeral costs can push people into poverty

The plans will also include a funeral bond pilot scheme allowing people to save towards the costs. And consumer protection of funeral plans will also be strengthened by ministers.

The basic costs of burial rose 8% to £1,373 in Scotland last year, according to Citizens Advice Scotland. And a recent study by Citizens Advice bureau in Stirling found a spike in so-called “paupers’ funerals” – no-frills burials arranged by the state – costing councils in Scotland £500,000 last year.

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting those who need it most following a bereavement,” said Equalities Minister Angela Constance.

“We know funeral costs can push people into poverty – and often it is those already in financial hardship who face increased difficulties,” she added.

We are taking decisive action to tackle this growing issue

“That is why we are taking decisive action to tackle this growing issue and have engaged with local authorities, the funeral sector and other support services.

“I am pleased by the willingness to work together to find solutions that support more affordable funerals.”

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
I was in a violent relationship. I wouldn't have got free without financial help
Person using ATM
Financial inclusion

I was in a violent relationship. I wouldn't have got free without financial help

Scrap two-child benefit cap to end child poverty, Labour told: 'Good intentions are not enough'
Starmer and Phillipson at a school
Child poverty

Scrap two-child benefit cap to end child poverty, Labour told: 'Good intentions are not enough'

Is the cost of living crisis over and will prices in the UK ever come down?
Cost of living crisis

Is the cost of living crisis over and will prices in the UK ever come down?

This pioneering and 'beautiful' idea can help keep young care leavers from falling into homelessness
Care leaver Bayley Tubman with her 'aunties'
Care leavers

This pioneering and 'beautiful' idea can help keep young care leavers from falling into homelessness

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know

The Big Issue

Sign up to get your FREE Doctor Who Archive Special

Celebrate the 14th series with your FREE edition of the Dr Who Special Archives