The damning statistics, released under the Freedom of Information Act, were uncovered by Lib Dem MP John Pugh
Soaring numbers of grieving families are being forced to give their loved-ones Dickensian-style ‘pauper’s funerals’ because they cannot afford basic burial costs.
Damning new stats show the number of taxpayer-funded pauper’s funerals has rocketed almost 50% since the Tories came to power.
A pauper’s funeral – now re-branded a ‘Public Health Funeral’ – was seen as the ultimate indignity in Victorian times, funded by the local authority when cash-strapped friends and family could not afford a proper service. The deceased is usually given a simple early-morning service before being cremated or buried in a communal grave.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show a 47% increase in pauper’s funerals between 2011 and 2015, from 1,769 to 2,609.
And the true number will be far higher, as only 200 of the 393 councils nationwide provided data.