Cremation will be cheaper than normal burial, Rosianne Cutajar says

One crematorium is expected to cost the government around €1.5 million, Rosianne Cutajar said, adding that because of the country's small population there was no need for more than one

Cremation allows family members or friends of the deceased to keep the ashes
Cremation allows family members or friends of the deceased to keep the ashes

Cremation will be a cheaper alternative to traditional burial, Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar said.

Cutajar, who spearheaded the cremation law in Parliament, was speaking on TVM's Xtra Sajf, saying that people were already pulling themselves out of promise of sale agreements on graves because they saw a viable alternative in cremation. 

"This means that the law is already having the desired effect. Of course, cremation will be a cheaper option to traditional burial, otherwise it wouldn't be an alternative," Cutajar said. 

She added that the construction of the crematorium would likely cost the government no more than €1.5 million. Other ancillary services such as the mortuary would add up to that expense. 

Cutajar announced that various consultants were being hired by the government to propose the best way forward in the construction of the crematorium. The cabinet will eventually scrutinise the findings of the consultants and move ahead with either a public-private partnership form or by issuing tenders. 

Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar on Xtra Sajf
Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar on Xtra Sajf

"The reason why I believe it's not viable to have more than one crematorium is because the numbers are what they are. A simple calculation would convince anyone that there's no need for more than one," Cutajar said of Malta's small population.

A study carried out by government before the legislation was drafted, she said, found that one out of three people would consider cremation as an alternative to traditional burial. Once the crematorium is built, this figure is expected to increase. 

"The strongest argument for cremation is the environment. Even big countries think cremation is viable because of the issue of sustainability. We cannot keep occupying the little land Malta offers with the construction of new graves. 

"Religious freedom also plays a part. In the past, we've encountered difficulties with people who did not subscribe to any religion and who could not participate in any form of ceremony after a relative's death. Cremation will allow them a celebration in spite of any religion or lack thereof," Cutajar said. 

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