Each year around 5,000 children tragically die in the UK and it is absolutely right that support is available to bereaved families to provide dignified funerals, regardless of income. No grieving family should have to pay for either a burial plot or cremation that are provided by local authorities.
If the government provided free burials for children, it would go some way to reducing the strain for grieving families at the most difficult and emotional of times.
I strongly support the campaign of my colleague Carolyn Harris MP to establish a Children’s Funeral Fund and supported Opposition attempts ahead of the 2016 Autumn Statement to persuade the Chancellor to allocate £10 million to help parents pay for the costs of child funerals. Unfortunately, the Chancellor made no such commitment.
The cost of a Children’s Funeral Fund for government would be minimal when compared to the benefits it could bring and I hope that the Chancellor will reconsider this issue in the March 2017 Budget.