the country, Local Authorities double, triple or even quadruple their burial
fees for non-residents of that borough, regardless of how long they have lived
there, with nearly every Council charging extra for non-residents. This
multiplier applies to any burial or interment fee, plus any grave lease cost.
The justification offered by Local Authorities is that they were not receiving
the deceased person’s council taxes at the time of their death, even if they
owned a grave space in that previous Local Authority and had lived there for
the majority of their life.
This is an issue that has affected many of Siobhain's constituents who have come to her for help - including cases of families who own a family grave space in a different borough but simply cannot afford to pay the costs of burial there.
From the average
burial fee of £419 in Northern Ireland to £3,806 in London, there is a stark
and immoral postcode lottery into the cost of dying. Siobhain thinks it is absolutely
abhorrent that councils capitalise on life’s two certainties, taxes and death,
to plug the gaps in their funding and make up for widespread Government cuts.
What’s more, privately-owned cemeteries
are raising costs faster than ever and she fears that recent history suggests
Local Authorities will choose to follow suit – indicating a worsening problem
in years to come.
Siobhain doesn't understand the justification for
astronomical burial costs to plug the gap that Local Authorities face due to
Government cuts. And she certainly doesn't understand how those same Local
Authorities can justify doubling, trebling or even quadrupling fees for their
deceased former residents whose family members just want to see them laid to
It is high time that this tax on grief is put