What is the SNP doing to tackle funeral poverty?
We know that funeral costs can push people into poverty – that’s why we’re taking decisive action to tackle this growing issue. The SNP Scottish Government has published a Funeral Costs Plan, which commits to 10 actions:
1. We will use new social security powers to launch a new Funeral Expense Assistance benefit from summer 2019.
2. Guidance on funeral costs will be published by December 2018.
3. The Scottish Government will support provision of improved advice on planning for a funeral, help following a bereavement and support after a funeral.
4. Guidance will be published to help people plan for their funeral.
5. We will push the UK government to strengthen consumer protection for pre-paid funeral plans.
6. We will support greater discussion about bereavement, death, dying and care at the end of life.
7. We will work to increase awareness of the products credit unions offer, including those for funerals.
8. A Social Innovation Fund will help social enterprises tackle poverty, including funeral poverty.
9. We will pilot a Scottish funeral bond to provide more options to help people save for their funeral.
10. We will gather more evidence on funeral poverty to ensure these actions are working.
You can read the plan in full here.
The Scottish Government has now published a consultation on draft guidance that sets out how burial authorities, crematoriums and funeral directors can take to make funeral costs transparent and more understandable. You can read and respond to the consultation here.
A new leaflet has also now been published by the Scottish Government that provides information for people on planning their funeral.
At Westminster, we support the reversal of the Tory government's cuts to Bereavement Payments and Widowed Parents’ Allowance. According to the UK government’s own analysis, 75 per cent of families entitled to Widowed Parents’ Allowance will be worse off.