Grieving families in Sunderland are being hit hard as cremation and burial fees continue to rise, according to new figures.
Data compiled by Funeralbooker, the independent and impartial funeral comparison service, reveals that in Sunderland cremation costs have risen by almost 13% in the last year.
This year the cost for a cremation in Sunderland is now £740, compared to £657 in 2016.
That represents an increase in price by 12.6%.
Burial costs in Sunderland are now £1,710, up from last year’s cost of £1,616.
This is an increase in price by 5.8%.
Sunderland City Council head of place management, Mark Speed said: “The fees and charges for Bereavement Services at Sunderland City Council are reviewed annually and revised in April each year, and are done so in line with council financial procedure.
“Our basic cremation fee for an adult is £670 but additional statutory Medical Referee and environmental protection fees add to these costs.
“The environmental protection fee was introduced in Sunderland from May 1, 2017, which is reflected in the increase shown for the overall fee associated with adult cremation.
“In contrast, the revision of Bereavement Services fees for 2017/18 saw the removal of child cremation and child grave purchase fees for families in the city.
He continued: “The fees charged for burial and cremation also cover the cost associated with the management of ten cemeteries in the city, including grave digging and ground maintenance as well as investment in cemetery infrastructure such as footpaths, access roads and perimeter walls.
“In addition, investment is made into maintaining and safeguarding the future provision of crematoria facilities for the city as well as ensuring stringent air emission requirements are met by the crematorium.”
Burial and cremation costs in South Tyneside have not changed from 2016 prices, remaining at £1,706 and £742, respectively
In Hartlepool the cost of cremation this year is £710, an increase of 3.5% on last year’s price of £686.
While a burial this year is £1,573 an increase of 16.8% on last year’s price of £1,347.
Across the country the average cremation fee now comes in at £753, while burial costs significantly more at £1,792.
James Dunn, co-founder of Funeralbooker advised people to combat the rising costs by taking out a funeral plan or going to an independent funeral director.
He said: “With such significant price differences now appearing across the region, many will be questioning whether these fees genuinely reflect the service they are getting or are simply down to opportunistic greed.
“If these costs continue to climb, families will struggle and we will see funerals causing even greater hardship and stress.”
For more information and to view the data visit: https://funeralbooker.com/blog/2017-cremation-burial-cost-index/