Daily Mail

Today’s the day all of our bills are going up

( ... and sadly, it’s not an April Fool )

- By Sean Poulter Consumer Affairs Editor s.poulter@dailymail.co.uk

TODAY is National Price Hike Day as families face a round of punishing increases on everything from prescripti­on charges to council tax and water bills.

The price rises, which also include stamps, TV licences and dental charges, could typically cost a family £88 a year, adding up to £1.7billion.

But on top of increases in these standard expenses, families are also about to be hit with big rises in other bills that vary widely between suppliers, for example broadband and pay TV, as well as gas and electricit­y.

As a result, the overall total for some households could soar past £200 a year.

The combinatio­n of price rises coming into effect this weekend, coupled with others in the pipeline, threaten the biggest squeeze on living standards since the financial crisis of 2008.

Alongside small or non- existent pay rises – and changes to benefits for working households – the price increases mean many families will inevitably end up poorer this year.

The increases in essential bills have been highlighte­d by the personal finance website money.co. uk, which calls today ‘National Price Hike Day’. The site’s editorin- chief Hannah Maundrell said the £ 88 increase is based on estimates of a typical household’s spending habits.

It does not take into account rises in broadband, telecoms, pay TV and energy bills as these vary widely among suppliers. Individual rises may appear small but they ‘all add up’, Miss Maundrell said.

Council tax bills are set to go up by an average of 4 per cent in England and Wales, and water bills by an average of 2 per cent to around £395 a year. The cost of an NHS prescripti­on will go up 20p to £8.60. And some NHS dental charges will rise by almost 5 per cent.

The cost of a TV licence, which has been frozen for six years, will go up by £1.50 to £147. Meanwhile, BT’s basic broadband is going up by £2.50 a month. Most of the big energy companies have also announced price rises on their standard variable tariffs, ranging from £58 to as much as £110 more a year.

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