A city councillor has slammed the Government’s decision to abolish the Bereavement Grant and called on the the council to restore Sunday burials by transferring staff from the soon-to-be abolished refuse service.
In the wake of this week’s Budget 2014 announcement, Cllr Ollie Crowe described the Bereavement Grant as being “of vital importance to ease the considerable expense on families of burying their loved ones”. The Bereavement Grant of €850 has been paid to an average of 22,000 families per annum who are eligible for help to deal with funeral expenses.
Commenting on the decision yesterday the Fianna Fáil councillor said: “At a time when people are constantly worrying about their finances, for them to also have to worry about whether their funerals will cause their families more debt goes beyond the pale.
“The Government are able to tell us how many euro they estimate it will save but they have also proven they don't understand the true value of it and are out of touch."
Cllr Crowe also confirmed that he has requested the city manager Brendan McGrath to redeploy staff from the refuse service, which is to be privatised, to the cemeteries section so that Sunday burials may be restored. Cllr Crowe said: “Maintaining seven day burials has attracted unanimous support from the council and if additional staff is made available the specific requirements of the Working Time Act 1997 could now be met.”