Emma introduced the Bill last month, and drew attention to the increasing problem of funeral poverty.
Research by Royal London has shown that over 100,000 people in the UK are living with funeral debt, with the average person owing more than £1,300. Funeral costs are rising year on year, but the Social Fund Funeral Payments supposed to help low-income families have not risen in line with those costs.
Emma’s Bill would require the Government to carry out a full review of funeral affordability to look at ways of bringing costs down. It would also create a standard definition of a ‘simple funeral’ that people can use to compare the costs charged by different funeral directors. The Bill would also introduce a new ‘eligibility check’ as part of the Funeral Payments process, to help applicants understand whether they are likely to receive support and so let them make a better informed decision about how much they spend on a service.
You can read the Bill by clicking here.
The Bill was scheduled to be debated today (Friday 23 January), but the time limit for debates was reached before it could be discussed.
The next opportunity to debate the Bill will be on Friday 27 February.
“I’m pleased to have been able to publish this Bill. Funeral poverty needs to be higher on the Government’s agenda, but because of the taboo nature of the subject it isn’t something that often gets discussed in Parliament.
“The first reading of my Bill helped to start a conversation about funeral poverty, and I want this to continue. It’s disappointing that a second reading wasn’t possible, because of Tory MPs packing the agenda for Private Member’s Bills on Friday. But I will continue to raise this issue in Parliament whenever I can.”