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Funeral Costs

Volume 128: debated on Thursday 25 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what discussions he is having with appropriate organisations on promoting simple and inexpensive insurance schemes to cover funeral costs and if he will make publicity material available about such schemes.

[holding answer 22 February 1988]: There are no discussions in progress with any organisations about the promotion of private insurance to cover funeral expenses. There are no plans for the Department to publicise such schemes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking to encourage people taking out simple and inexpensive insurance to cover the cost of their own funeral and to plan for their own funeral arrangements; what consultation is taking place with the insurance industry to devise suitable insurance schemes; and if he will make arrangements for premiums to such schemes, either in lump sum or regular payments, to be claimed from his Department.

[holding answer 22 February 1988]: We are aware that many people wish to take out private insurance to cover the cost of their own funeral, but there has been no consultation with the insurance industry to devise such insurance schemes. We believe that public funds should primarily be used to help those on low incomes who are faced with funeral expenses which they cannot afford to pay. Such provision is currently made from the social fund to those in receipt of certain income-related qualifying benefits.