An Early Day Motion from Carolyn Harris MP, tabled on 7th December, is calling on the government to establish a fund from which local authorities can draw, to pay the costs associated with children’s funerals.
The death of a child is too dreadful to imagine. Having the burden of a costly funeral at this most traumatic time must be intolerable.
As at 6.00pm this evening (19th December 2016), 128 Members of Parliament had signed the EDM, but sadly none of the Brighton and Hove MPs, Simon Kirby, Caroline Lucas and Peter Kyle, had yet signed.
The EDM reads:
“That this House notes that approximately 5,000 infants and children pass away each year in the UK; further notes that the cost of children’s funerals imposes a significant and unexpected financial burden on bereaved parents; recognises that some local authorities, as well as religious officiants and undertakers, currently waive all or a proportion of the fees associated with children’s funerals; further recognises that many individuals, community groups and schools undertake fundraising to cover such funeral costs; acknowledges that the total annual cost of fees associated with children’s funerals is £10 million; and calls on the Government to establish a specific fund, from which local authorities can draw, to pay the costs associated with children’s funerals.”
Rochdale Council today became the first local authority to abolish its charges for children’/ funerals, thereby providing some relief at this most terrible time for the families of the child who has died.
I hope that all our MPs will support this EDM and that the government will provide the modest £10 million needed.
(The End Funeral Poverty campaign is doing fantastic work on raising the issue of the high cost of dying. Follow their campaign to end funeral poverty on Twitter @endfuneralpov)