§ Dr. Hendron
to ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what is the average cost of a funeral in(a) Belfast and (b) Northern Ireland; and what comparisons he has made with funeral charges outside Northern Ireland;
(2) what plans he has to make higher provision for the costs of a funeral in Northern Ireland following the Secretary of state for Social Security's recent decision that social fund payments to cover funeral costs are to be limited to £875.
§ Mr. Moss
Information on the average cost of funerals in Belfast and Northern Ireland is not available.
Costs of funerals vary considerably within and between local areas and regions of the United Kingdom. The social fund funeral payment scheme cannot be expected to meet the cost of all variations and eventualities.
The Government have referred their proposals to the Social Security Advisory Committee and will consider its report when it has been completed.
Divisional allocation of additional funds (£000) Functional heading Ballymena Belfast Coleraine Craigavon D'Patrick Omagh 1. Capital works (a) Carried over form 1993–94 — — — 900 — — (b) Development schemes — — 715 — — — (c) Bridge strengthening 147 231 95 50 122 150 2. Structural maintenance 358 453 359 450 426 654 3. Plant and building — 133 127 — — —
Some of these changes are subject to Parliament's approval of the Spring supplementary estimates for 1994–95.