GRIEVING families from Caithness are paying more than the national average to have their loved ones cremated, according to a survey out this week.
The survey, conducted by comparison site Beyond, showed that out of all the public crematoriums in the United Kingdom, Inverness was the fifth most expensive.
A cremation at Inverness costs £904 – £130 above the national average – while the highest rate is charged by Thorncliffe, in the Cumbrian town of Barrow, at £959.
Inverness crematorium is the most accessible to Caithness. Add on the cost of having an undertaker transport the body, and folk are having to break the bank to bid a final farewell.
In comparison, those living in Aberdeenshire who travel to Aberdeen to have a relative cremated pay 12 per cent below the national average.
Iain Gregory of Caithness Citizens Advice Bureau said families were finding the added financial burden a struggle – especially when placed on top of the grief of losing a loved one. He said that those who qualified for funding aid had to jump through hoops to get it.
“Funeral costs are going through the roof and it’s a hard struggle to make ends meet – especially when you’re already devastated by the death of a relative,” he said.
“If you’re in employment, you will get no help from the government and you will have to meet all the costs.
“However, if you are on an income-related benefit – be it sickness or unemployment – you are in a position to make a claim for cremation fees.
“But it is not easy to obtain this. While you would qualify if you were the deceased’s only living relative, if the Department for Work and Pensions can find a living relative of yours who is employed – son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt – then they will reject your claim saying you have a relative who can foot the bill.”
A CAB leaflet providing advice and assistance can be downloaded at: