Falkirk still one of cheapest areas for burial costs

Burial charges across Scotland have increased by an average of over £250 since 2014, but Falkirk's rate is still one of the least expensive.

A new report from Citizens Advice Scotland shows the average charge nationally is now £1,428, while in Falkirk it’s just £1,028.

This puts it at number 29 in a league table of 32 areas, with only Shetland, Renfrewshire and the Western Isles offering cheaper rates - even although there was a £49 local increase this year.

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By contrast Edinburgh now charges the dearest rate in Scotland.

Citizens Advice Scotland consumer spokesperson Ruth Mendel said: “This year we again see an increase in burial costs across most areas, though it is notable that a quarter of Scottish Councils froze their charges from last year.

“What is striking is that the average charge has increased by 27 per cent since 2014, which is 3.5 times the rate of inflation.

“That is a substantial increase at a time when many families will have seen their incomes fall.

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“Our data also shows that there remains a postcode lottery in burial costs in Scotland, with some councils charging significantly higher fees than others just a few miles away.”

She added: “Bereavement is a difficult time for any family, and the financial side of planning and paying for a funeral or cremation can of course compound the emotional difficulties, particularly for those who are on lower incomes or where the bereavement is unexpected.”

The figures only cover burial, and the total average cost of a funeral in Scotland is now £3.598.

Meanwhile Falkirk’s charge for cremation is also one of the cheapest, at £608.