Figures Show Rise In Burial Costs

24 June 2015, 07:18 | Updated: 24 June 2015, 07:22

The cost of burying a loved one is now 10% higher than it was last year, according to new figures.

The cost of burying a loved one is now 10% higher than it was last year, according to new figures.

Burial fees in Scotland - not including the price of expenses including undertakers or flowers - is on average £1,273.

The average cost of cremations has increased by 5% over 12 months to £601, the report from Citizens Advice Scotland showed.

The organisation published The Cost Of Saying Goodbye today as it revealed the number of people getting in contact with advisers because of problems with funeral costs rose by 35%.

After looking at the charges for burials and cremations in the country's 32 local authorities, CAS said mourners face a postcode lottery, with the costs varying by more than £2,000 between the most expensive and least expensive councils.

East Dunbartonshire was revealed as the most expensive in the report at £2,785 and the Western Isles was the least expensive at £694.00

Meanwhile, the highest increased charge since last year is Aberdeenshire - which saw a 42% jump to reach £1,411.

Moray and South Lanarkshire were the only areas where costs did not rise since last year's report.

Fraser Sutherland, CAS spokesman, said: "When someone dies you have to pay not just the funeral directors, florists etc, but you also have to pay your local authority for the costs of the internment and the lair (grave).

"We have found again that cremations are a much less expensive form of saying goodbye, with an average charge of £601. However even this is 5% higher than the charges last year, and is a difficult amount for many families to find, especially if the bereavement is sudden.

"Whether you choose a funeral or a cremation, the additional fees of funeral directors, florists etc. swell these basic costs considerably, but at least people can shop around and make choices about those services. The local authority charges are a major problem and need to be addressed urgently.''

He added: "We have seen a massive increase in the numbers of Scots coming to the CAB because they can't afford to pay these huge costs. We have met with Scottish Government Ministers and will continue to work with other campaign groups to highlight these issues and campaign for change.''

A spokesman for local government body Cosla said: "The cost of burials and cremations are rightly a matter for individual councils to determine based on local circumstance. Yes there can be a variation in cost in the same way that there is a variation in property costs or land costs in different parts of the country.

"Indeed I would suggest that all individual elements of a funeral will vary in different parts of Scotland - not just the council part. The cost of cremations and burials is widely available from individual councils.''