§ 12. Mr. Hutton
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what changes have been made since 1993 to the social security funeral payments scheme; and what is his assessment of the effect of these changes. 
§ Mr. Roger Evans
Changes have been made to stop abuse of the system. People with a genuine reason for taking responsibility for a funeral get help. A £500 limit was placed on specified funeral directors' charges. Those changes have successfully reduced previously escalating expenditure.
§ Mr. Hutton
Is it not becoming increasingly clear that the funeral payments system frequently fails to cover even the cost of the most basic funeral service, causing additional stress to the families of the recently bereaved? In the light of the evidence, what plans do the Government have to review the operation of the funeral payments system?
§ Mr. Bernard Jenkin
Does my hon. Friend agree that it would be rather illogical to accept the premise that social security expenditure is too high and then to complain about every change that the Government make to bring social security expenditure under control? Is that not exactly what the Labour party continually does?