More Stealth Taxes: the Liberal Democrats are cashing in on burial fees during the pandemic

UK Cemetery scene

100,000 people are dead from Covid-19. More than 150 of those people are from Eastleigh. True to form, Eastleigh Borough Council and the Liberal Democrats are cashing in on burial fees, taking advantage of the increased demand with more stealth taxes.

I’ll be honest, when I started to review the minutes from the latest council meeting, I was looking at a totally separate subject and didn’t expect to find more stealth taxes. I wasn’t able to attend the meeting because of a work commitment (yes, I do have a real job!). Had I attended, I’m not entirely sure if my language would have been appropriate for the audience. What I have found, buried in the minutes, is shocking.

Having lived in Eastleigh for more than 30 years, I’m used to paying stealth taxes. Parking permits are one example. These stealth taxes on us ensure that people in Hedge End and Hamble don’t pay more Council Tax (yes, it’s not fair!). One tax that is deep in these council minutes is the increases in burial fees – yes, they’ve spotted a financial opportunity from Covid-19 deaths:

Single depth burial charge from April 2021 – £1,033

Double depth burial charge from April 2021 – £1,315

Scatter ashes from April 2021 – £96

Cemeteries Fees and Charges with effect from 1 April 2021, Eastleigh Borough Council

Apart from the fact that these charges were already extortionate (Fareham council charge £785, for example) the council have increased burial fees by £21 and £28… to say I was stunned is an understatement.

I have spoken to multiple people who’ve suffered because of Covid-19, some directly and some indirectly. One friend has lost both parents. I can’t imagine the difficulty in arranging funerals, the emotional weight, the limit on attendees and then, courtesy of the council, a huge cost to say goodbye.

This is yet another example of a council that is totally out of touch with residents. They’re determined that stealth taxes on you and I will fund council tax payments for people in West End. They don’t care if it’s tax on parking or tax on dead loved ones. Shameless.

It’s time to get the Lib Dems out and get local people in to stop the stealth taxes and make Eastleigh better.

Sam

Notes:

https://meetings.eastleigh.gov.uk/documents/s50029986/Fees%20and%20Charges.pdf

https://meetings.eastleigh.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=306&MId=6614&Ver=4

https://www.fareham.gov.uk/PDF/bereavement/cemcharges2018-19.pdf