Whitehall to fund costs of child funerals, PM announces

4 Apr 18

A government fund will be set up to pay the costs of children’s funerals, the prime minister has announced.

Following a cross-party campaign to ease the financial pressure on grieving parents, Theresa May said central government would provide funding to bury children who die before they are 18.

The campaign was led by the Labour MP for Swansea East, Carolyn Harris, whose own son died in childhood.

In a letter, co-signed by almost 100 cross-party MPs, Harris said: “No parent should have to face the added uncertainty of debt when they are already struggling to cope with the death of their child.”

In response, May said: “I have been incredibly moved by the dignity and strength of campaigners like Carolyn Harris, who lost her own son Martin when was just eight years old.

“In the darkest moment of any parent’s life there is little light – but there can be support.

“That is why I have asked for the Children’s Funeral Fund to be set up in England.”

Each year an estimated 4,350 children die and parents are left to pay the council fees for burials and cremations, which can amount to thousands of pounds. However, some councils choose to waive fees.

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