Geography plays a large part in our financial wellbeing. It can determine job and education opportunities, and it is increasingly linked to the rising problem of funeral poverty. The term funeral poverty refers to the situation in which an unfortunate number of people in the UK find themselves when a relative or loved one passes away. If they have no savings, insurance, or funeral plan, they may be forced into debt to cover significant funeral costs.
Funeral costs have been steadily rising year on year above the rate of inflation. According to the latest data from Sun Life, the average cost of dying in the UK is now £9,204; representing an increase of 57% over just 11 years. This figure varies dramatically across England, Wales, and Scotland, but it has undoubtedly contributed to the pandemic of pauper burials currently rising across the UK.
Pauper Burials in Wales
Wales is currently the worst-affected area in the UK, reporting as many as 146 pauper burials from 2017 – 18. This represents a staggering increase of 62% in just five years’ time. Funeral poverty across the entire UK has reportedly increased by 50% over the last three years, causing financial and emotional stress for those that are left behind to pick up the ever-increasing bill of funeral costs when a loved one dies.
The scope of the issue in Wales was put under the microscope recently, with information from local councils showing that almost £200,000 was spent on covering the funeral costs of pauper burials in the last year alone. This sum was spread between Cardiff, Swansea, and Bridgend – areas neighbouring one of the costliest places to have a funeral in the UK. Newport was identified as the most expensive place to be buried in Wales, yet Cardiff – little over ten minutes away by train – is suffering from funeral poverty more so than anywhere else in the country.
This disparity is not so surprising given the cost of living in such a vibrant urban environment. The higher cost of living puts an additional strain on individuals when it comes to funeral planning. One professional in the funeral comparison sector claimed:
‘Because the cost of living is so great and the cost of a funeral is great, people can’t afford it…One in eight, from the latest research, can’t afford a funeral and they are going into debt to the tune of £2,500 to cover the shortfall.’
Capital Life’s Ongoing Commitment to Beating Rising Funeral Costs
We are repeatedly saddened at the news of people being driven to such financially and emotionally troubling means to cover rising funeral costs. Capital Life Funeral Plans offer a safe and transparent means for planning and paying for a funeral that suits you, so your loved ones aren’t left to shoulder the burden.
If you would like to read more about the implications of the rising funeral costs, read our previous blog post Rising Funeral Prices Leads to Increase in Pauper Burials. Or, if you are considering taking out one of our plans to beat rising funeral costs, call us on 0800 411 8683. If you’re a bit pressed for time right now, don’t worry.
SunLife, Cost of Dying Report, 2018