The Government has announced a children’s funeral fund to ensure that parents no longer have to pay for the cost of burying or cremating their child. Local authorities will now waive the charges, with the cost instead being paid for by the Government.
The Government’s decision comes following a campaign led by Carolyn Harris, the Labour MP for Swansea East, who lost her eight year old son. Harris said that she had been forced to take out a loan to fund the burial of her son following his death in 1989.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said in a statement:
“No parent should ever have to endure the unbearable loss of a child – a loss that no amount of time will ever truly heal. But in the raw pain of immediate loss, it cannot be right that grieving parents should have to worry about how to meet the funeral costs for a child they hoped to see grow into adulthood.
I have been incredibly moved by the dignity and strength of campaigners like Carolyn Harris, who lost her own son Martin when he was just eight years old. Carolyn has passionately argued for a Children’s Funeral Fund to spare grieving families the burden of meeting funeral costs.
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. For Carolyn, in memory of her son Martin, and in support of all those parents overwhelmed by such harrowing loss”.