QSA hails ‘big breakthrough’ in funeral costs

QSA hails the initial findings of the Competition and Markets Authority investigation into funeral costs

Quaker Social Action (QSA) is celebrating what it hailed as a ‘big breakthrough for those struggling with funeral costs’ after a major investigation into the funeral sector was announced.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that there should be a major probe into funeral costs in response to ‘serious concerns’ about ‘large price hikes, hitting people at their most vulnerable’. The CMA released it findings on 29 November from the first six weeks of its investigation into the funeral sector.

QSA has been working to draw attention to high funeral costs since 2014 with its Fair Funerals campaign.

Giles Robinson, from QSA, told the Friend: ‘The CMA indicate that the scale of years of price hikes doesn’t currently appear to be justified and that low-income consumers are disproportionately affected by funeral costs; costing them nearly forty per cent of their annual outgoings.

‘We wholeheartedly agree that grieving people don’t make savvy customers and need protecting, and welcome their proposal to use the full powers of a market investigation to address the issues.’

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said people in mourning are ‘vulnerable’ and should be ‘protected…We now feel that the full powers of a market investigation are required to address the issues we have found. We also want to hear from people who have experienced poor practices in the sector, so that we can take any action needed to fix these problems.’

The consultation will run until 4 January 2019.

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