Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Big Society... My Arse

So, I turned on BBC News this morning, and it would appear that the "Big Society" idea currently being pushed by  the Cameron/Clegg ConDem coalition is now having an affect on THE MOST VULNERABLE in society. I'm not just talking about babies, elderly people - this is something that is going to affect anybody who has the misfortune of dying over the next couple of years. 

Councils around the country are now raising their Civil Funeral costs by as much as 25%. God forbid you should die after April.

For example, in Poole in Bournemouth, Civil Funeral costs, which were £455.00 in April 2009, had already increased to £535.00 in September, will now go up to £580.00 in April. That's a 27% increase in two years, and 8% in just seven months. North East Lincolnshire goes one enormous step further, raising burial costs for residents from £753.00 to £979.00, a leap of 30%. 

Of course, this won't affect people who have life insurance, or people who have private burial services, but instead will hit the most vulnerable in society. The mothers of stillborn children; the young single girl with cancer who never thought she'd have to plan for this outcome; the 22 year old walking in the Lakes who slips on loose rocks. It is their families, their parents who will have to fund the funeral, and deal with these council charges when they are at their lowest ebb. 

The fees, say the BBC News, will increase revenue for the Council by £80,000, and a Council official said
"We don't expect the proposed changes to affect the demand for services" - Well of course not - death is  an inevitable part of life! Just because a council raises their costs, it doesn't mean that the cancer will go away, or the teenager won't be hit by a car. This is nothing more than a stealth death task!
I wonder, what Cameron would like the mother of a dead baby to do? Sell some precious possessions? Shop around to find the cheapest alternative? Cremate rather than bury? Or maybe in this big society, we will need to bury our loved ones ourselves to save money.

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