Death is becoming increasingly expensive as councils capitalise on the two certainties in life — the other being taxes — to plug gaps in their funding.
Local authorities have increased cremation and burial fees by up to 49 per cent over the past year, research suggests, prompting claims that they are using stealth taxes on grieving families to make up for government cuts.
Fees have risen by more than inflation in eight out of ten council areas, the study by a price comparison website found. Watford council imposed the single biggest increase, raising burial fees by 49.1 per cent. It was followed by Newry, Mourne and Down district council at 41.1 per cent. Cheltenham borough council increased cremation fees by almost a third.
On average, burial fees rose by 5 per cent — more than double the rate of inflation — from £1,571 to £1,755. Cremation fees rose by an average of 4.6 per cent, from £683 to £714.
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