A Melbourne family who claim they were slugged an extra $55 “carbon tax charge” when burying a relative were told “even the dead don’t escape the carbon tax”.
Erica Maliki and her family were burying her father-in-law at Springvale Cemetery when she was told the price per burial plot had increased because of the carbon tax.
Her father-in-law died on June 30, the day before the carbon tax was introduced, and was buried early last week.
“I thought to myself, ‘What carbon could possibly be used by putting a man in a grave?’” Ms Maliki said.
“All they did was put the dirt back in. How can they charge us a carbon tax for burying someone?”
Ms Maliki’s son Zaid said the cemetery’s receptionist told his sister-in-law “even the dead don’t escape the carbon tax”.
“We are pretty upset… that comment was a kick in the guts,” he said.
The cemetery’s communications manager Rebecca Atkins said if the comment about the carbon tax was made, it was in error.
“The carbon tax doesn’t impact on our prices whatsoever,” Ms Atkins told AAP.
“If that comment was made to them, then unfortunately it would have been in error.”
Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust chief executive John Tribe said he was sorry for the distress caused to the Maliki family.
“However, I can categorically state that in no circumstances have our fees increased due to the carbon tax,” he said in a statement.
Mr Tribe said he would ensure all employees were fully aware of this to prevent clients being misinformed.
He said the cemetery increased its fees on July 1 in line with inflation and the Maliki family was now satisfied with the reason behind the price increase.