Grieving families will have to find hundreds of pounds extra to bury their loved ones if planned town hall price hikes are approved.

Brighton and Hove City Council is considering raising burial costs by up to £213 as it looks to increase revenue to meet Government-imposed cuts.

Green councillors justified the rises, which together with increases to environmental health and registration services are expected to raise an extra £140,000 a year, saying fees had not gone up above inflation for more than three years.

However, opposition members said it amounted to nothing more than a “death tax”.

Price increases

Papers presented to the local authority’s cabinet show interment rates would increase by a third.

Services Monday to Friday would increase from £377 to £500.

There would be similar increases for the same service on Saturday (from £530 to £700) and Sunday and bank holidays (£647 to £860).

The cost of buying a lawn grave and burial would also increase – from £292 and £377 to £410 and £500 respectively.

Cremations would increase by about 6%, with the cost of a ceremony after 10am Monday to Friday rising from £373 to £395.

Finance cabinet member Jason Kitcat said: “It has been necessary, particularly in view of the reductions in funding the government is imposing, to bring our fees structure up to date in order to balance the books.”

But Labour and Co-op councillor Warren Morgan said: “The Greens are looking to make money via what is in effect a death tax from people at a time when they are most distressed. It is appalling."

Conservative councillor Ann Norman said: “This is the most vulnerable of all times for families and comparisons with other councils will be of little comfort to them.”

Other changes would include price increases for register offices, marriage venue licences and other ceremony rates.

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