logo
Plus   Neg
Share
Email

CMA Proposes Major Funerals Probe Over Large Price Hikes

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said that it is consulting on a major funerals probe because of concerns over large price hikes, hitting people at their most vulnerable. The CMA will now be consulting on the potential market investigation reference and welcomes any views on the issues identified in its report by 4 January 2019.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said, "People mourning the loss of a loved one are extremely vulnerable and at risk of being exploited. We need to make sure that they are protected at such an emotional time, and we're very concerned about the substantial increases in funeral prices over the past decade."

The CMA said that Today's interim report presents the issues the CMA has identified since launching a Market Study into the funerals sector six months ago.

The CMA noted that the initial work indicates problems with the market that have led to above inflation price rises for well over a decade - both for funeral director services and crematoria services. The scale of these price rises does not currently appear to be justified by cost increases or quality improvements.

According to the interim report, today, people generally spend between 3,000 pounds and 5,000 pounds organising a funeral, and the price of the essential elements has increased by more than two-thirds in the last 10 years, almost three times the rate of inflation. Organising a funeral would now cost those on the lowest incomes nearly 40% of their annual outgoings, more than they spend on food, clothing and energy combined.

The interim report said that customers could save over 1,000 pounds by looking at a range of choices in their local area. However, people organising a funeral are usually distressed and often not in a position to do this - making it easier for some funeral directors to charge higher prices. Prices are also often not available online, making it difficult to compare options.

Cremations account for 77% of funerals, yet there are limited choices for most people in their local area and fees charged by crematoria have increased by 84% on average in the past 10 years, more than three times the rate of inflation.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Editors Pick
Millennials and Generation Zs, or people aged between 18 to 34 year, pay more for car repairs, according to a new survey. The average American spent $1,986 over the past five years on vehicle repairs and maintenance, according to a survey by Ally Financial conducted by Harris Poll. However, among... Gap Inc.'s (GPS) Old Navy brand announced plans to open 800 new stores as part of its upcoming split from its parent company. "We'll almost double our fleet to 2,000 stores in North America, predominantly in under-served small markets," Old Navy CEO Sonia Syngal said. The company said the plan was... Google has launched a new website called 'Recover Together,' a resource intended to help people recover from addiction or substance use disorder. The new service was launched by the search giant in recognition of the National Recovery Month in September. Google noted that more than 23 million Americans are recovering from addiction, while 20 million are still struggling to seek treatment.
Follow RTT