Paupers’ funerals cost defended by Perth and Kinross Council

© DC ThomsonPerth Crematorium.
Perth Crematorium.

Perth and Kinross Council has defended the amount of money spent on paupers’ funerals in the last year.

Yesterday The Courier revealed the local authority had the highest spend on the no-frills services in Scotland and the ninth-highest in the UK.

Research by mutual insurer Royal London said the council spent £74,000 on 49 of the funerals, also called public- health funerals, for people who had no living next of kin, or whose family were unwilling or unable to pay.

Now a spokeswoman has said the local authority was able to claw back some of the cash after the services, from the deceased’s estates.

Perth and Kinross dealt with the highest number of public health funerals in the last 10 years but £23,323 of the total cost was later recovered.

Nine of the cases were due to the deceased having no living next of kin but 40 were people whose families were either unwilling on unable to pay.

The spokeswoman said: “This is the highest number of public funerals in the last five years, although they were delivered at the lowest cost per funeral of any of the past five years due to the sums which were recovered.

Paupers’ funerals in Perth and Kinross cost more than anywhere else in Scotland

“Indeed the trend has been for costs to decrease over the past few years.

“A total of 49 public funerals took place in 2017-18, of which nine were cases where the deceased had no living next of kin and the remaining 40 were individuals where families were either unable to pay, or were not willing to pay.”

The funerals cost an average of £1,040 last year, almost £500 cheaper than the previous year. Almost 4,000 paupers’ funerals were carried out in Britain last year.