A FIFE councillor has called for cheaper and simpler funerals in the Kingdom.

Liberal Democrats leader Tim Brett highlighted the rising costs of death after a report by the Monopolies Commission said the average price of that final goodbye in the UK is now over £4,000.

And he stated that the financial burden makes it a significant issue for many individuals and families at what is often a very difficult and traumatic time.

He received backing from senior Labour councillor Helen Law who said: "I think they are too expensive and I think it's right that the council and others look at the cost of funerals.

"I think there is an opportunity to take advantage of folk's grief.

"It is hard enough when people lose a loved one without having to think about cost of a funeral.

"I know the Co-Op provide free funerals for children and I think that has to be commended."

Cllr Brett had asked what arrangements Fife Council were making to introduce cheaper and simpler funerals that would be an option for everyone.

He was advised that the local authority are in discussions with funeral directors around the provision of a dignified low-cost funeral.

Similar arrangements have been agreed in a number of other authorities elsewhere in Scotland.

The council is hopeful that they will shortly be able to finalise this agreement and details will be provided to elected members in the coming weeks.

Cllr Brett said: "I am pleased that these discussions are taking place as people are finding the cost of funerals a real problem and I hope that these new arrangements can be introduced swiftly as an option for people if they wish them."

Fellow Lib Dem councillor, James Calder, said: "The cost of funerals can be an additional level of distress for many families in a difficult time.

"It is positive that discussions are taking place which would help to make them more affordable for bereaved families in Fife."

Service manager Alan Paul said: "At Fife Council we know that the death of a loved one is always difficult to deal with, and that this can be compounded by funeral costs.

"We are currently working with local funeral directors to create a package which would help ease the pressure on family or friends, both financially and emotionally.

"We have not yet finalised the details and our discussions are ongoing. We will report back to elected members in due course."