AUTHORITIES and funeral service suppliers are making a lot of money out of people's bereavement with the cost of dying reaching thousands of pounds in Scotland, according to a trade union.

Funeral charges will come as "a real shock to many living in Scotland", the GMB union said, with Edinburgh and Glasgow councils charging around £2000 for interment fees and burial rites.

Other councils are not far behind with South Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire and Perth and Kinross charging more than £1500 for burials.

Even the cheaper option of cremation tops almost £1500 in Edinburgh and more than £1000 in Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeen and Fife.

Total UK funeral costs average more than £7000 once funeral director's costs, doctor's fees for certification, flowers, limousines and catering for the wake or reception are factored in, the GMB said.

GMB Scotland secretary Harry Donaldson said: "Someone is making a lot of money out of people's bereavement. At a time when the cost of living occupies most peoples concerns, it will be a real shock to many living in Scotland that the cost of dying is so high.

"While GMB realises the public are not queueing up to test the services, it remains a fact that few have any idea of how much even a simple burial or cremation actually costs.

"When council charges are included, the average funeral costs are £3284 and the total costs average more than £7000 according to some surveys."