We're calling on the Chancellor Philip Hammond to #BurytheDebt for grieving families by raising the state funeral fund. The fund has shrunk and now covers less than half the cost of a basic funeral, pushing people into serious poverty and debt.
Helen, one of our Fair Funerals spokespeople, 59, lost her son and found she was unable to afford his funeral:
“When my son Aaron died I was in bits. He’d been severely disabled and me and my husband cared for him for 25 years. We’d always tried to save, but you don’t get much chance when you’re a carer. We applied for the funeral fund but were still left with over a thousand pounds worth of debt. Having this hanging over us was an awful reminder of Aaron’s death. I felt too ashamed to scatter Aaron’s ashes while we still owed money to the funeral director.”
Heather Kennedy, Fair Funerals campaigns manager says:
“In the fifth richest country in the world, it’s simply not good enough that grieving families are being forced into poverty and debt trying to arrange a simple funeral after someone they love dies. Our government needs to take action to address this growing public concern and guarantee everyone in dignity in death. By increasing the funeral fund, many grieving families would be spared the emotional and financial burden of not being unable to afford a respectful funeral.”
The campaign launched with a funeral procession through Parliament Square: