Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 12:30 UK

Edinburgh tops death cost survey

It costs 855 to be buried in Edinburgh compared with Glasgow's 590

Edinburgh is the most expensive place to die in Britain, according to a UK Government study.

The capital is known to be one of the most expensive places to live but now a comparison of funeral prices shows dying is also a costly business.

The Department for Work and Pensions' survey found the city's funeral directors charge up to twice as much as those in England and Wales.

The council's cremation fees are also higher than everywhere outside London.

The DWP researched the cost of a "simple" funeral, which includes director fees, a coffin, transfer of the deceased and provision of a hearse - but not burial, cremation or embalming.

Edinburgh - 1,600
Kent - 1,170
East Sussex - 1,096
South London - 1,075
Blackburn - 1,000
Surrey - 950
Birmingham - 925
Chelsea - 925
Newport/Cardiff - 798

For a funeral not including the burial costs, Edinburgh topped the chart at 1,600.

The same funeral in South London would be 500 less at 1,075.

A person dying in Cardiff would have the cheapest funeral, at a cost of 798.

Cardiff was again the cheapest for a simple funeral including a burial at 1,572, compared with Edinburgh's 3,300.

For a simple funeral including a cremation, the cost in Edinburgh would be 2,130 but again far cheaper in Cardiff, where it would cost 1,113.

For a burial only, it costs 855 in Edinburgh, compared with 590 for a burial 50 miles away in Glasgow.

Gordon Greenhill, Edinburgh City Council's head of community safety, said: "Burial and cremation costs in the city reflect the cost of providing a quality service and enable the council to continue to maintain and conserve our 39 cemeteries and graveyards.

"In Edinburgh, we maintain grave sites in perpetuity, whereas in some authorities this is time-limited."

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