How much will my bills rise by in April? Energy, council tax and broadband hikes explained
Shehab Khan explains which bills will rise in April and how they will impact households and businesses
Households are facing an onslaught of price hikes that could leave the average family hundreds of pounds a year worse off.
From April 1, millions of people will face increases to their broadband, mobile, water and council tax bills.
Here is a full list of what is going up in price and some advice on how to best cushion the financial blow:
Most local authorities in England are putting up council tax by 5% from April, meaning people living in a band D home can expect to pay about an extra £100 each year. In Wales, the average hike is set to be 5.5%.
In November 2022, the Treasury said it expected 95% of eligible councils to push ahead with the 5% rise.
You can find more out about the council tax hikes here, and see what band your property is here if you live in England.
You can apply for a discount or challenge your council tax band. People living alone, who share a house with someone with a severe mental illness or a student, or who rely on a live-in carer may be entitled to a 25% council tax discount.
In Scotland, most of the 32 local authorities have voted for a 3% council tax rise - you can find your council tax band here.
In Northern Ireland, regional rates will rise by 6% from April. You can check the valuation of your property here.
The average water bill will go up by £31 a year in England and Wales, a rise of 7.5%, but this figure will vary by location and water usage.
Industry body Water UK has said the annual bill for an average household in England and Wales will hit £448, but has insisted the rise for most customers will be below inflation.
Water UK said targeted support is available for low-income customers who use a lot of water for essential family or health reasons through the WaterSure scheme, and a wide range of assistance is available through the Priority Services Register.
The amount households pay in Scotland for water and waste water services in 2023/24 will rise by an average of 37p per week, according to Scottish Water.
The increase – 5% above current charges – will take effect from April, and will be collected alongside council tax. Unlike other parts of the UK, households in Northern Ireland are not billed for water.
Broadband and mobile phone bills
Broadband and mobile phone prices are due to rise between 14% and 17%.
The average annual mobile phone bill is £307, according to household finance app Nous, and this is expected to rise by £44 to £351.
BT, EE, Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk are among the telecom giants that have announced increased bills for millions of customers from April.
Matthew Upton, director of policy at Citizens Advice, said: “Millions of people will now have to stomach inflation-busting price hikes on their mobile and broadband contracts, totalling an average of £90 more a year."
Consumers can potentially offset some of the price hikes by moving to a Sim-only deal on their phones, haggling broadband contracts down (where possible) and downgrading their existing deals.
The government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme comes to an end from April, leaving households having to find an extra £66 a month to cover their gas and electricity.
From April, the Energy Price Guarantee will bring an average household energy bill for gas and electricity to around £2,500 per year in Great Britain compared to about £2,109 per year in Northern Ireland.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the cost of your energy bills it’s recommended that you first get in contact with your supplier. They are legally obliged to help and work with you on a payment plan, which will spread your payments out and ideally make them more affordable.
British Gas, E.On and Octopus are among the companies offering hardship funds and grants to customers who are in energy debt.
The price of an NHS prescription is rising by 30p, or 3.2%, from £9.35 to £9.65 on April 1.
Here are some examples of the new prices from next month:
Single prescription charge: £9.65
Three-month Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC): £31.25
12-month PPC: £111.60
The recently introduced HRT PPC: £19.30
Surgical bra: £31.70
Abdominal or spinal support: £47.80
Stock modacrylic wig: £78.15
Partial human hair wig: £207.00
Full bespoke human hair wig: £302.70
Some drugs, like contraception, are usually free. In England, people who are over 60, under 16, or who are pregnant or among the groups entitled to free prescriptions. You can read the full list here.
England is the only nation in the UK that still charges for prescription medicines. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland scrapped the charges more than a decade ago.
There will also be higher mortgage payments for borrowers shopping for a new deal as well as those with variable loans after the Bank of England raised borrowing rates to a 14-year high of 4.25%.
According to Moneyfacts, the monthly repayment of the average two-year fixed rate mortgage has risen by £325 in the last 15 months. Last month's decision adds an extra £30 a month on top.
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