April Price Changes: 7 Household Bills Increasing and the Sole One Seeing a Reduction

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Families in England are about to face a slew of price hikes on essential household bills as companies initiate their annual April 1 price adjustments.

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Council tax, road tax, broadband, mobile, water, and even stamps are set to see significant price increases, with folks encouraged to look for savings by comparing providers and exploring eligible discounts.

Expected changes around April 1 include:

The average yearly council tax bill is set to increase by £106 this year, as local authorities aim to boost revenue for struggling essential services.

The cost for an average Band D property will rise by 5 percent to £2,171, data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities shows.

Council taxes in Wales will see hikes from about 5 percent in Torfaen to over 11 percent in Pembrokeshire, while the SNP has pledged to freeze council tax in Scotland until 2025.

Average household water and sewage bills in England and Wales will go up by 6 percent to £473 annually from April 1.

Wessex Water and Anglian Water are hitting the high end with bills expected to rise to £548 and £529 respectively, whereas Northumbrian customers will face the lowest average bills at £422.

Water UK stated the increase in water bills will only fund improvements in water and sewage systems, with any undelivered promises resulting in mandatory bill reductions by the regulator.

David Henderson, CEO of Water UK, mentioned, “Next year, we’ll see record investment levels from water companies for securing our future water supply and drastically cutting sewage in rivers and seas.”

He advised customers with concerns to reach out to their water providers, assuring that services wouldn’t be disconnected or forced onto prepayment meters.

Most broadband and mobile contracts are set for a “totally unacceptable” 7.9 percent hike on April 1.

Major broadband providers like BT, EE, Plusnet, Shell Energy, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, and Vodafone are adjusting their prices in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Retail Price Index (RPI) – reported as 4 percent and 4.9 percent respectively in February – plus an additional increase ranging from 3 to 3.9 percent.

Uswitch estimates this will cost consumers an extra £27.19 annually for broadband and £24.23 for mobile plans on average.

Richard Neudegg, regulation director at Uswitch.com, suggests, “There’s hope with Ofcom considering a new ban on inflation-linked and percentage-based price increases.

“All mobile and broadband users should check their contract status, and if out of contract, look for a cheaper deal to avoid overpaying. This is particularly crucial for those who haven’t switched in the last 18 or 24 months, as they’re likely at the end of their contract and could find significantly cheaper options.”

Similarly, EE’s subscription TV service cost will increase by 7.9%. EE TV, formerly known as BT TV, offers access to free and premium channels like TNT Sports, previously BT Sport.

Switching providers when out of contract could reduce broadband, pay TV, and mobile bills by up to £187, according to research.

Virgin Media’s 8.8 percent increase extends to its TV service, and Sky will raise prices by an average of 6.7 percent for TV customers from April 1.

Additionally, the annual TV Licence fee will climb to £169.50 from April 1, up from £159, required for watching or recording live TV on any channel or device, including BBC iPlayer.

Vehicle excise duty, or road tax, will adjust with the RPI from April 1. For post-April 1, 2017, registered cars, the tax is expected to increase from £180 to around £190 annually. However, older or higher carbon dioxide-emitting vehicles will face higher charges.

Stamp prices will also rise on April 2, with first-class stamps going up by 10p to £1.35 and second-class stamps by 10p to 85p.

English patients will see a 4 percent increase in NHS dental check-up costs, rising by £1 to £26.80. NHS Dental services remain free for all children under 19 and some other eligible groups.

On a brighter note, the average household energy bill will drop to its lowest in two years from April 1, as Ofgem reduces its price cap by 12.3 percent from £1,928 to £1,690 for a typical dual fuel household in England, Scotland, and Wales, saving £238 annually or about £20 a month.

Natalie Hitchins from Which? said, “Despite the looming price hikes on broadband, mobile, water, and council tax bills coming just after train ticket increases, there are ways to minimize costs and keep household bills low.

“Our findings show that switching providers when out of contract can cut costs significantly. It’s also smart to check for council tax reductions or exemptions and consider a water meter to save money.”

A Treasury spokesperson commented, “Our decisive actions have cut inflation to 3.4% and it’s forecasted to return to the 2% target within the next three months, ahead of predictions, protecting households from higher expenses.

“With the autumn statement changes and a second national insurance tax cut in April, we’re giving back £900 annually to the average worker. This is part of one of the most substantial cost of living support packages in Europe, averaging £3,800 per UK household from 2022 to 2025.”

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