The National Association of Funeral Directors is today (20 May 2020) urging the Government to introduce a Crisis Funeral Loan to assist thousands of bereaved people having to unexpectedly pay for a funeral.
With funerals having increased around 30% since the COVID-19 pandemic began and given its economic impact, with unemployment rising sharply, there are now more people struggling with their finances, including the cost of one or in some case two funerals.
This puts increased burden and mental strain on bereaved people at an already very difficult time.
The Crisis Funeral Loan would help alleviate that, while also ensuring that the Government does not suffer financially in the long term.
Jon Levett, Chief Executive of the National Association of Funeral Directors, the profession’s largest trade body, said: “It is a desperately hard time for those losing loved ones during this pandemic, and worrying about being able to pay for a funeral, and in some cases two, can heap worry onto people at a time when they are already grieving.
“A simply loan, payable back over 12 or 24 months, would take so much of that stress away.
“The Government has sought to help people through these difficult times, and the introduction of the Crisis Funeral Loan would show a proactive and compassionate approach and be a huge help to the bereaved.”
A background research document stating the case for the Crisis Funeral Loan has been written by Alison Crake, past NAFD president and senior partner at Crake and Mallon Funeral Service. It is available to download from the NAFD website, along with her letter to the Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson MP, Prime Minister.
The NAFD has proposed to the Government that the loan can be administered through two existing mechanisms, the Bounceback Loan and Child Funeral Fund.
Mr Levett said: “By proposing existing mechanisms, hopefully it removes levels of structure and administration that will help the Government, which has always stressed that it is keen to help bereaved people.”