Scottish Liberal Democrat Communities and Local Government spokesperson Councillor Peter Barrett has today said that the SNP are increasing the burden on the bereaved as a new report revealed that councils have increased burial charges in response to increasing budget pressures.
The Local Government Overview 2019 report from the Accounts Commission found that councils had increased 11 types of charges by more than inflation between 2016/17 and 2018/19. The highest increases were in relation to burials, with the cost of a burial plot increased by an average of 20 per cent (22 councils responded) and the cost for burial services increased by 12 per cent (23 councils responded).
The report also warned that Scottish Government funding to councils is likely to reduce in future and that local authorities have less flexibility over spending decisions as a result of ring-fencing of budgets.
Councillor Peter Barrett commented:
“Local authorities are faced with tough decisions to make ends meet.
“This extra burden on bereaved families is a direct result of the SNP’s unsatisfactory settlement for local government. It’s a financial hardship that comes at an especially difficult time.
“The Scottish Government has a duty to ease the pressure on struggling local authorities. Ministers must provide them with the funding and economic levers necessary to properly tackle local priorities.”