Funerals are becoming so hard to afford that some people are burying relatives in their back gardens, according to an MP.  Emma Lewell-Buck said some people were holding “do it yourself” funerals with rising costs putting even a basic service out of many families’ reach.

She proposed a bill calling for a review of costs and for providers to offer an affordable, simple service. The Labour MP for South Shields said the average funeral had reached £3,551. “The loss of a loved one can be one of the most devastating experiences we face… we want to give them a good send-off,” she told MPs.

In October, SunLife Direct’s annual Cost of Dying report said the average cost of a funeral had increased by 87% since 2004. Ms Lewell-Buck said “funeral poverty” was a “taboo” subject, with the price of a service outstripping inflation and reaching £7,000 in some areas.

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