From cuts to everything from tax credits to housing benefits for young people, Chancellor George Osborne’s budget on Wednesday looked like the Bonfire of the Vanities.
However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, particularly for a group of core Conservative voters – the British Indian community.
In amongst the slash and burn, the Chancellor introduced a review into crematorium facilities to ensure that they are adequate for the needs of all users, in particular Britain’s Sikh and Hindu communities.
It follows a sustained campaign by British Hindus and Sikhs concerned that current facilities are too small and not adequately equipped for two fast-growing communities.
“Over the past year a number of British Hindus and Sikhs have raised with me their concerns about cremation facilities for their communities”, said Mr Osborne.
“They’ve 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’ve launched this consultation and I’d urge everyone to make their views known on this important issue”, Mr Osborne added.
MP for Harrow East and well-known Diaspora champion Bob Blackman said: “I am aware of concerns over inadequacy of crematorium services and think it is a welcome step to respect cultural sensitivities of various communities.”
The consultation will be led by the Department for Communities and Local Government.