Funeral poverty scheme extended
Funeral poverty is an increasing reality for many people throughout the UK where people find themselves in a position where the cost of a funeral outweighs their ability to pay.
The average cost of a funeral in Scotland is now £3,885.
The average cost for a lair and coffin burial in Scotland is £1,769. The average cost in West Lothian falls below the Scottish average and West Lothian is ranked 25th lowest out of 32 Scottish councils for costs.
In 2019, following discussions with local funeral directors, a group of funeral directors agreed to the provision of a West Lothian Respectful Funeral to help mitigate the costs for those residents in need.
The initial scheme was due to end in April 2021 but that has now been extended to 31 March 2023. The current cost with remain at £1,550.
Executive councillor for the Environment, Tom Conn added: "The impact of the West Lothian Respectful Funeral scheme has been a resounding success, saving 89 West Lothian families in the region of £78,000 in potential funeral costs. I'd like to thank the local funeral directors that have continued to support this important model and the council staff that have worked with them.
"Whilst the Scottish Government's Funeral Support Payment will help those on welfare benefits, it was, and remains, the aim of the local West Lothian model to provide all residents with the opportunity to reduce funeral costs below the average cost of burial in Scotland, not only those on benefits.
"The West Lothian scheme also provides an added element of choice for residents who may find the cost of paying for the funeral of a loved one through traditional methods beyond their reach."
The local funeral directors that support West Lothian Respectful Funeral service are:
- Brodies Funeral Directors Ltd
- Coop Funeralcare
- Brownings Funeral Directors
- Thomas Grieve and Son Family Funeral Directors
- Thomas Brown and Sons (Scotmid)
Andy Johnston, the council's NETS, Land and Countryside Manager added: "The West Lothian Respectful Funeral Model will continue to provide further choice to residents to ensure they can, where finances are difficult, deal with their deceased loved ones in a respectful way."
Visit Funeral Poverty West Lothian Council for more details on the West Lothian Respectful Funeral Model.