• STV
  • MySTV

Dundee families left with £500k debts to pay funeral costs

A new report has called for regulations to be put in place to stem the rise of funeral costs.

Debt: Funeral costs.
Debt: Funeral costs. Pixabay

Poorer families in Dundee have accumulated debts of more than £500,000 paying for funerals, a new report has revealed. 

The study, commissioned by Dundee City Council and the Scottish Government, looked into the effectiveness of a project set up in the city to help those struggling with funeral costs. 

Funeral Link offers one-to-one services to help next of kin plan and pay for funerals, negotiate with funeral directors, and also to encourage people to plan ahead to make it easier for their relatives. 

According to the report, carried out by the University of Dundee, anecdotal evidence shows some people have gone without essentials in order to pay for funerals, on which people will still spend a significant amount of money regardless of their income level. 

Quoted in the report is a 2018 survey by insurance company Royal London, which found there were 307 people in the city struggling to pay funeral costs - 12% of the overall number of funerals held. 

Through this number, and the finding that those struggling owed an average of £1744, it was calculated that at least £535,931 is owed in funeral costs across the city. 

However, the report makes clear this figure could be far higher. 

The report has called on both the Scottish and UK governments to put regulations in place to stem the rise of funeral costs. 

Dr Carlo Morelli, co-author of the report, said: "We found that within the short duration of its existence, Funeral Link has provided a widely recognised, valuable service and was highly effective, by working with the funeral sector, in negotiating lower costs for families in Dundee since its inception in 2019.

 "However, while there is some evidence of smaller funeral directors working with families to lessen funeral debt, the largest firms in the funeral sector have been successful in increasing costs at the expense of the hardship being caused to families involved. 

"The report recommends that the Scottish and UK governments need to demonstrate much greater regulation over the sector if consumers' vulnerability is not to be exploited." 

Mary Kinninmonth, chairwoman of the Funeral Link board of trustees, said: "Funeral Link helps support people with money concerns to deal with the practicalities of one of the most difficult times they will face - the death of a loved one. 

We also raise awareness to encourage people to plan ahead to make it easier for those they leave behind. 

"The comprehensive evaluation report from the University of Dundee strongly evidences the extent of funeral poverty and the need for our services. 

"We hope the evidence from it will stand us in good stead as we continue to seek funding to secure the continuation of our much-needed service." 

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.