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30/05/18 13:07

Child burial and cremation fees to end

Agreement will remove financial burden from families

Scottish Government and COSLA have agreed to work together to remove all local authority charges for child burials and cremations.

While most local authorities have already removed their fees, this new commitment - which is supported by Scottish Government funding - will see the removal of their fees consistently and completely across all areas.

Confirming the agreement, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities Angela Constance said:

“The death of a child is one of the most tragic experiences that anyone can go through. 

“At such difficult times, it is important that we look to support parents and families.  We have been actively looking for some time at ways in which we can further support bereaved parents in Scotland with funeral costs.

“Most local authorities do not charge child burial and cremation fees but the picture across Scotland is a mixed one, as local authorities introduce adult burial and cremation charges at different ages across the country.

“We agree with COSLA that no family should have to pay to bury or cremate their child.  I am therefore delighted to confirm this agreement between the Scottish Government and COSLA.”

Cllr Elena Whitham, COSLA spokesperson for Community Wellbeing, said: 

“Scottish local authorities have had a long-standing commitment to waiving or discounting their charges for children’s funerals and cremations. 

“It is truly awful to have to manage the burden of a funeral or cremation for a child. We are acutely aware that none of us plan for the financial costs because we don’t expect it to happen to our families. For some, any charges can lead to high cost borrowing and financial crisis. 

“We are pleased to work together with the Scottish Government to ensure that all local authorities can fully commit to removing their charges for the burial or cremation of those aged under 18.”

Background

Most local authorities in Scotland do not charge burial or cremation fees for children under the age of 16.

It is estimated that the cost of this move will be in the region of £500,000 a year with the funding being provided from the Social Security budget.