Soaring funeral costs are responsible for some Dundee families falling behind on their rent – and even preventing them from grieving properly.
Funeral costs have risen an average of 6% a year since 2004 – double the rate of inflation according to the UK Competition and Markets Authority.
The CMA figures show that on average funerals now cost £4,300, with optional extras a further £2,000. Statistics in the report state that among the poorest people this amounts to 40% of their annual expenditure.
The figures add that in 2018 a third of next-of-kin had to contribute to the cost and they faced an average shortfall of £2,559.
Dundee University researchers Ruth Bickerton and Carlo Morelli are investigating the impact of funeral costs.
Meanwhile, as reported in the Tele on Friday, a new charity – Funeral Link – has been set up in the city to help families cope in the aftermath of a bereavement.
In a report they state: “Having to find this money is an additional stress at a horrible time.
“Anecdotally, housing officers in Dundee tell us funeral debts are the reason rent hasn’t been paid and there are church ministers who report members of their congregation can’t grieve properly for worrying about such costs.
“Grieving families do not act as what economists would call ‘rational agents’.
“They rarely query funeral quotes and often feel pressure to fund things they cannot afford.”