Investigation conducted into Local’s Authorities approach to ‘Pauper’s Funerals’

The Guardian has reported that Councils in England and Wales are waiving their responsibility to provide Public Health act funerals, more commonly known as “pauper’s funerals.”

Quaker Social Action, an anti- poverty charity, stated that families of a low income, are often being turned away because they are not able to afford to pay for the burial or cremation of their loved ones.

Senior Business Manager at Finders International and spokesperson for the Public Health Funeral Information Service, David Lockwood, comments: “The article highlights the need for a unified approach by local authorities on this sensitive matter, at a time when the most vulnerable in our society need help navigating the perfect storm of the pandemic and cuts to council funding which have hit services up and down the country.

The non-statutory guidance issued by the ministry for housing, communities and local government was a good start, but the legislation needs to be updated and reflect the times in which we live.

Funeral poverty is a real issue for so many, the amount of people that have approached our advice line has more than doubled since the pandemic hit, funerals are too expensive, and a solution has to be found. Perhaps we need to revisit the idea of the DWP issuing a standard payment when someone passes away to cover the cost of a simple cremation? This would assist so many and ensure that when a Council has to make arrangements local budgets aren’t adversely affected.”

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The Public Health Funerals Information Service (PHFIS) is a free resource for those dealing with public health act funerals. Click through to our homepage here: to find out more about our news, resources and events.