All Hail Churnalism!

Strained families are being forced to bury their dead using so-called \’pauper\’s funerals\’ because the Government is turning down almost half of those who apply for funeral payments.

The Government Funeral Payment system, designed for those who need support with funeral costs, is being inundated with applications, a new report has revealed. Even for those who do get help, the typical sum awarded is £1,217, which is far short of the average £3091 cost of a funeral.

My word!

From whence does this astonishing information come?

The report, from Sun Life Direct and Bath University, said that more people would have to consider alternatives such as a Public Health Funeral, or so-called pauper\’s funerals.

Sun Life Direct eh? You mean from the people who sell funeral insurance? Strictly it should be funeral assurance of course.

Time was when this sort of work would be done by the PR agency. Pity to see universities hiring themselves out to put their imprimatur on such tosh but that\’s the modern age for you.

and this is likely to jump again as the death rate is forecast to rise by 17 per cent each year for the next 15 years.

I may have got my maths wrong on this but that looks unlikely. 100 (current death rate) x 1.17×1.17 (for a total of 15 times) gives something like a 1,200% rise in the death rate. Are we really expecting that?

9 thoughts on “All Hail Churnalism!”

  1. As one might expect from the fact that the 17% annual rise in the death rate figure is obviously absolute bollocks, it’s not mentioned in the report.

    Which seems mostly legit, to be honest – it looks more like the equivalent of a drug company funded academic study into a drug, than the marketing department surveys which prove that Coke Is It.

    Christ alone knows where the Torygraph got that data from, or how the editorial team managed to be so pig-ignorant as to let something so obviously false through – although my assumption is that it has something to do with the proprietors sacking most of its staff, outsourcing its subbing to discounters, and generally taking a shit on its once decent-reporting-despite-swivel-eyed-commentary reputation.

    (oh for the days when newspaper proprietors swindled money from people stupid enough to invest in their empires in order to fund high-quality journalism. Come back Lord Black, etc…)

  2. 4 years back my mother gave her whole body to medical science. They then saw to the cremation. She used to walk to save even the 1p concessionary Glasgow bus fare. I can still hear her laughing about the £ 1800 or so her body donation saved.

    I intend to do the same.

    Alan Douglas

  3. The report states:

    “Given that the number of deaths each year is set to rise by 17% in the next
    two decades as a consequence of the UK’s ageing demographic”

    Rosie Murray-West, “Deputy Personal Finance Editor” just doesn’t know how to read numbers.

  4. Aha, so we have two different reports from the same study – the academic-style Bristol Uni one that I linked, and the white-paper-style Sun Life one that Martin linked. Yes, that’ll be where Murray-West got her numbers from.

  5. A 17% rise in the annual death rate? Who are we going to be at war with? Or is the Black Death planning on making a comeback?

  6. Hang on, so we’re banging on about how we’ve got too many oldies and this is a problem, and now the death rate is going to rise (presumably chiefly among the oldest) and this is a problem too?

    I must be living in the wrong universe.

  7. The cheaper funerals at my local crematorium cost £480. Then there’s a compulsory doctor’s fee of £152. You need a coffin, £200 say, and some sort of large car or van to take the coffin to the crematorium, £100 say. A round of drinks for the guys who carry the coffin, call it £1000 all in. So an average grant of £1,217 should cover it comfortably.

    On the other hand, if you commission your local funeral parlour to take the body away, store it while you make arrangements, and lay on a hearse, they’ll charge an extra £1500 or so. If the Telegraph thinks the state should pay that, I beg to differ.

  8. To be pedantic, 100*1.17^15 = 1053.872

    That’s a whole 12.177% less than your quoted figure (or yours is 13.8658% larger than actual if you prefer).


    Using the ONS figures for 2010, where there were a total of 493,242 deaths, by 2025, the number of deaths per year will be 5,198,140…

    From 2020 – 2025, the total deaths would be 19,457,860

    does anyone know how to do maths any more? this is GCSE stuff and took me all of a minute with the aid of a spreadsheet.
    or perhaps we’re about to have a nuclear war with China/France/Iran…

  9. If we’re to be pedantic: the implied rise in the death rate is 953.872%. I thought Tim was close enough for his point to stand.

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