CAHNGE: Chancellor George Osborne before he presented the budget in parliament
Chancellor George Osborne has announced a review into crematorium facilities, following concerns from British Hindus and Sikhs that current facilities are too small, and not equipped to meet their needs.
During the budget on Wednesday (8), Osborne told parliament: “Over the past year, a number of British Hindus and Sikhs have also raised with me their concerns about cremation facilities for their communities. They have told me that often the facilities are not large enough for everyone from the community to pay their respects and don’t always pay enough regard to cultural sensitivities.
“So this Budget announces a review into these facilities. We want to know more about concerns people from all faiths and none have about these facilities, so we can do more to ensure everybody can mark the passing of their loved ones appropriately. That’s why we have launched this consultation and I would urge everyone to make their views known on this important issue.”
The consultation will be led by the Department for Communities and Local Government and will consider the views of all faiths.
Five years ago, Davender Ghai, a British Hindu and the founder of the Anglo-Asian Friendship Society in Newcastle, won the right to be cremated on a traditional funeral pyre in Britain, after a ruling by the court of appeal in London.
Ghai, 76, said at the time that “everyone should live and die according to their own religion”.
In a recent report, he said people approached his organisation as funerals were becoming expensive and “they can’t afford an alternative”.
“The society will offer it (funerals) for free as I believe that everybody has the right to die in line with their faith,” he was quoted as saying.