Increase in Pendle's burial fees slammed as 'death tax' by local councillor (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Increase in Pendle's burial fees slammed as 'death tax' by local councillor
7:00pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
AN INCREASE in burial charges in Pendle has been labelled a ‘death tax’ by one councillor.
Fees at cemeteries in the borough will go up 10 per cent as Pendle Council seeks to make £5m savings over the next two years.
The increase will see cemetery fees income rise from £8,660 in 2013/14 to £17,320 in 2014/15.
Lib Deb councillor David Whipp slammed the hikes.
“This is just a death tax,” he said. “The reason for putting the fees up 10 per cent is purely to make more income.
“I can see huge protests from bereaved relatives. At five per cent you could argue the increase but at 10 per cent absolutely not.”
The decision to increase charges by 10 per cent was backed by other councillors on the executive committee, with the prices being brought in line with other East Lancashire councils.
Burial services offered by local authorities differ slightly, but adult interment at Rossendale starts at £440, Pendle Council charges £512 and Burnley Council £870.
Pendle councillors did, however, vote against plans to introduce charges on junior sports pitches.
Since 2009 outdoor sports facilities, such as football pitches, have been free of charge, but plans had been drawn up to introduce charges to generate £5,000 a year.
Council leader Joe Cooney said: “We are trying to encourage more people to participate in sports.
“I think we can still cope with having free pitch hire for the under 16s.”
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