Date lodged: 15 September 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the UK Government and other stakeholders regarding funeral costs, funeral poverty and the funeral payment scheme.
Answered by: Angela Constance 27 September 2016
The Scottish Government has:
Written to Baroness Altman outlining our concerns regarding the current Department for Work and Pensions Social Fund Funeral Payment.
Had discussions at official level with the Department for Work and Pensions on the Social Fund Funeral Payment.
Set up a Funeral Poverty and Funeral Payment Reference Group to advise on work on funeral poverty and the development of the successor to the DWP Funeral Payment.
Had discussions with COSLA regarding the role of local authorities, and funeral directors and funeral plan providers about the role of the funeral industry.
Met with third sector organisations, advice services, the NHS, older people’s organisations and others with an interest to seek their views.
Published a consultation on the Future of Social Security in Scotland, which includes a section on the Funeral Payment. The consultation closes on 28 October 2016.
Set up a series of themed round table discussions and a National Conference on Funeral Poverty to progress the public debate.