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Tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) should be used to contribute towards funeral costs, according to a report.

Free healthcare through the NHS and the state pension are among the benefits funded by tax and NICs.

Research from SunLife claimed one in six funeral directors around the UK would like to see that extended to curb rising funeral costs.

One respondent suggested that every person should be entitled to a £2,000 government bond - funded by taxpayers - to contribute towards costs.

The report said that the average cost for a basic funeral in 2018 was £4,271 - up from £3,784 in 2017 and in line with a consistent year-on-year increase.

Around a quarter (24%) of funeral directors want more regulation in the industry, amid concerns of a rising number of unlicensed people entering it.

Ian Atkinson, marketing director at SunLife, said:

"Funeral costs have continued to rise year-on-year, and funeral directors around the UK are keen for people to get more support.

"This includes formal regulation of the funeral industry, government covering the cost of a basic funeral and encouraging people to shop around."

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