Funeral costs rising faster than inflation

Chapel: Park Wood Crematorium
Chapel: Park Wood Crematorium

IF you are struggling with the cost of living it doesn’t get any easier - the cost of dying is rising faster than inflation!

Calderdale Council has put charges up at Park Wood Crematorium by 7 per cent leaving families with a £580 bill.

And, the Church of England is increasing the cost of a funeral service next January by a staggering 50-plus per cent - from £102 to £160.

It cites the need to cover costs of lighting and administration for the first time.

Council cabinet member Coun Pauline Nash (Lib-Dem Skircoat) said charges were comparable to across West Yorkshire where fees would rise in April.

“We are not taxing death - we are not making money out of it,” she said.

Last year Park Wood had a £1.5 million upgrade which included abatement equipment for mercury emissions which avoids the need to pay a Government levy.

“We get a lot of people from Kirklees coming to Park Wood because of the facilities and the gardens are beautiful and immaculately kept,” said Coun Nash.

“I do not think the rise is that significant in real terms. It’s just in line with the cost of engery and other costs.”

Families also have funeral directors’ fees to pay.

Many people are now “buying a funeral in advance” by paying into pre-funeral planning schemes to remove the financial burden on relatives.

Linda Williamson, of Williamson Family Funeral Service, Sowerby Bridge, said such plans had grown more popular in recent years.

“Some people do struggle for the money and we explain options open to them,” she said.

In some cases claims for Government help can be made but the money received doesn’t cover the full cost.