I thank Paul Maynard for holding this debate on such an important matter, as he clearly highlighted in his worthy contribution. I also thank all Members who have spoken. After a serious piece of slash-and-burn, let me say that recent reports have found that not only are many people unable to pay for the cost of a funeral, 47% of individuals are forced to take out high-interest credit card debt or short-term loans to cover the shortfall.
According to findings published in The Guardian on
According to the 2015 Citizens Advice Scotland report, “The cost of saying goodbye”, which has been mentioned by many Members who have spoken, North Lanarkshire council ranks in the top 40% of the most expensive councils for funeral costs in Scotland. According to Citizens Advice, the total cost of a funeral for people living in our constituency falls somewhere between £2,500 and £8,000. As more than half the households in Lanarkshire have an annual household income of less than £20,000, the cost of a funeral in our constituency can represent more than one third of household income for many.