Jeremy Hunt suggests paupers’ funerals are down to ‘distant’ families who ‘don’t realise relatives are dying’

Jeremy Hunt will today suggest the tragic toll of paupers’ funerals is down to ‘busy’ and ‘distant’ families – even though some are prompted by abject poverty.

The Health Secretary will highlight the eight people each day who die with no one to pay for their burial, claiming ‘lonely funerals’ are a sad result of the modern world.

However, the ceremonies, known traditionally as paupers’ or welfare funerals, aren’t just for people whose relatives are dead or unwilling to pay up.

With the average burial costing more than £3,000, the system is also for people with no savings whose relatives are too poor to pay a penny.

The Tory minister will say: “Are we really saying these people had no living relatives or friends?

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