Jared Signs Letter to Prime Minister Asking For Child Funeral Costs to be Scrapped
162 MPs have co-signed a letter to Theresa May in support of Carolyn Harris’s campaign to introduce a Children’s Funeral Fund. There is strong cross-party support for the £10 million fund and despite assurances from the Prime Minister over eighteen months ago, no provisions have been made in the two most recent budget statements.
While working as a dinner lady and barmaid, Carolyn’s eight-year-old son, Martin, was tragically hit by a car outside the family home. Carolyn’s grief and despair were compounded with the worry of how she would pay for her son’s funeral. Fortunately, thanks to the support of the community in Swansea, Carolyn was able to cover the cost of her son’s funeral. However, not all bereaved parents can rely on the support of friends and families.
Some funeral directors will waive children’s funeral fees but local authorities still charge parents for cremations and burials. The Government’s current funeral fund can be accessed by those in receipt of certain benefits but many parents on low incomes do not qualify.
Funeral costs have doubled in the last three years and funeral poverty rose by 50% over the same period. The Welsh Government recently announced that they will scrap child funeral fees and the Prime Minister is being urged to do the same.
Jared has said:
“I am delighted to add my support to Carolyn’s campaign and she has displayed incredible bravery in re-telling her harrowing story. No parent gripped in the throes of grief should have to suffer the indignity of going cap-in-hand to friends and family to pay for the burial of their own child.
“Funeral poverty has soared in recent years and the Government’s own funeral fund has not escaped the Conservative's austerity agenda: research shows that the grant only covers around 40% of the cost of a funeral.
“The Welsh Labour Government has taken the lead on this issue and rather than serving up platitudes and warm words, it is about time the Prime Minister followed their example.”
You can watch Carolyn’s moving speech in Parliament here: