Burial fees at Guernsey's Le Foulon Cemetery 'punitive'

Deputy Elis Bebb
Image caption Deputy Elis Bebb said he wanted to see a review of the cemetery's fees

Increases to grave plot and burial fees at Guernsey's Le Foulon Cemetery have been condemned as "punitive".

The fee for a grave plot increased to £2,158 from Thursday, while burial fees rose to £1,834. These fees were set at £219 and £263 respectively in 2008.

Deputy Elis Bebb said the prices caused "great distress" and demanded Treasury and Resources review its policy of recovering all cemetery costs via fees.

Treasury Minister Gavin St Pier said the policy was correct.

"Islanders do have the choice of burial or cremation and, in the case of burial, whether this takes place in their own parish or elsewhere," Deputy St Pier said.

Deputy Bebb, who represents St Peter Port North, said Le Foulon was the only cemetery in Guernsey which operated in the same manner as a municipal cemetery in the UK.

He said this meant anyone "not wanting to be buried within Anglican consecrated ground" had no choice but to be buried there, regardless of the cost.

Deputy Bebb said the next most expensive cemetery, at Castel Church, charged £550 for a grave plot, while St Saviour charged £150.

He said he would pursue the issue further with the Treasury and Resources Department.

The Social Security Department has announced a new cap of £2,750 on death grants and benefits relating to burial fees, which it said was due to the increases seen at Le Foulon.

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