The day all your bills will go up

Cost of den­tist, TV, flights and coun­cil tax rise – on April 1!

Daily Mail - - News - By Sean Poul­ter Con­sumer Af­fairs Edi­tor

EV­ERY­THING from a den­tal check-up to the TV li­cence and flight taxes will go up to­mor­row in what has been de­scribed as a ‘cruel April Fool’s joke’.

April 1 is the day the Gov­ern­ment and many busi­nesses across the UK will trig­ger a se­ries of pun­ish­ing price rises.

Many house­holds will be pay­ing over £100 a year more – a col­lec­tive bill of £2bil­lion.

The in­creases in ‘ must pay’ bills are much higher than rises in pay and pen­sions, which will be a blow to liv­ing stan­dards.

Coun­cil tax is see­ing the big­gest in­crease with an av­er­age rise of 5.1 per cent. Band D bills are go­ing up an av­er­age of £81 to £1,672, but some face much big­ger in­creases. Some four mil­lion peo­ple who have a pre­pay­ment en­ergy me­ter for gas and elec­tric­ity will see an in­crease in tar­iffs equiv­a­lent to £57 a year.

At the same time, many other fixed-term en­ergy tar­iffs are com­ing to an end with peo­ple au­to­mat­i­cally trans­ferred to new deals that could be £200 a year more ex­pen­sive un­less they shop around.

Air pas­sen­ger duty for econ­omy pas­sen­gers on long-haul flights is ris­ing by £3 to £78 to­mor­row, while for those in busi­ness class it is in­creas­ing by £6 to £156.

The price of a TV li­cence is ris­ing by £3.50 to £150.50.

The cost of a pre­scrip­tion is go­ing up by 20p a time to £8.80 and some other NHS charges, for ex­am­ple the cost of wigs for those who lose their hair as a re­sult of ill­ness or treat­ment, will be higher. The NHS den- tal charge payable for a check-up will in­crease by £1 – 4.85 per cent – to £21.60. The cost of Band 2 treat­ment, such as a fill­ing, rises by £2.80 to £59.10. And the fig­ure for Band 3, which could be fit­ting a crown, goes up by £12.20 to £256.50.

The price of a first class stamp went up by 2p last Mon­day, tak­ing it to 67p. Sec­ond class post in­creased by 2p to 58p and post­ing a small par­cel went up by 5p to £3.45.

The fig­ures were com­piled by per­sonal fi­nance ex­perts at money.co. uk. Its edi­tor-in-chief, Han­nah Maun­drell, said: ‘Your wal­let could be hit left, right and cen­tre on April 1. These price hikes may ap­pear small and “noth­ing to worry about” but add them all to­gether and they could cost you around £100 ex­tra a year.’

She said con­sumers can limit the im­pact of the in­creases, by shop­ping around and switch­ing providers.

Ex­perts at the price com­par­i­son web­site TheEn­er­gyShop.com warned that more than 40 dis­counted house­hold en­ergy tar­iffs come to an end to­day.

It said: ‘Cus­tomers on these tar­iffs will get mi­grated onto some­thing more ex­pen­sive – pos­si­bly much more ex­pen­sive.’

As a re­sult, it said, an­nual gas and elec­tric­ity bills could rise by as much as £200. The web­site’s founder, Joe Mali­nowski, de­scribed the in­creases as a ‘cruel April Fool’s joke’.

A num­ber of mo­bile phone and broad­band sup­pli­ers are in­creas­ing prices to­mor­row.

For ex­am­ple, O2 and Three are putting up prices by 4 per cent and EE by 4.1 per cent.

Sky’s broad­band cus­tomers will see line rental costs rise from £17.40 per month to £18.99 – an in­crease of 9.1 per cent.

‘It’s a cruel April Fool’s joke’

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