What Bills are Going up in April?
- TV licence, council tax, and other bills are going up
- Most will go up on 1st April, which is Easter Sunday
- Is there a way you can avoid them?
From Easter Sunday, the 1st of April, there’s a whole raft of price hikes that will stretch your finances further.
Depending on where you live, your council tax will go up by up to 6%.
All councils will be able to increase their council tax bands by 2.99% next year to fund local services.
On top of this, 152 councils, which includes all London boroughs and county councils, will be able to increase by an additional 3% to fund social care services.
This means that for some families, their bills will rise by up to £100 a year as a result of the extra charges.
One of the main reason on the increase in spending is to help solve the country’s current social care problems.
Councils will now be given an extra 3% in funding from national government to go specifically towards the care of the elderly.
The total predicted rise is £1 billion, but many say it isn’t enough to fix problems in social care, so it could be going up even more next year.
Can you pay less council tax?
One really simple way to reduce your council tax bill is to check if you’re eligible for any discounts, for example, students and those claiming Universal Credit and eligible for discounts.
It’s also really important that you check if you’re in the right Council Tax band, as this could save you thousands.
From 1st April, prescription costs will go up by 20p to £8.80 per prescription, making it the highest price ever.
Although this may not seem like a huge rise, it has been dubbed “catastrophic” by the Prescription Charges Coalition, which also warned that those with long term illnesses will be hit the hardest.
The change was announced by the Conservative Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy, who said, “We have increased the prescription charge by 20p, from £8.60 to £8.80 for each medicine or appliance dispensed.”
Can you pay less for prescriptions?
The three month and year long prescription payment certificate, PPC, will not face the rise in costs.
The three month PPC is £29.10, and the twelve month PPC is £104, so this is a cheaper way of getting prescriptions and dodging the increase.
The cost of a TV licence will go up to £150.50.
Last year the annual fee was raised for the first time in seven years, and the Government said it would rise in line with inflation for the next five years.
If you buy a licence on or after April 1st then you will have to pay the new fee, so if you’re licence is close to running out, make sure to do it before the deadline so you’ll pay less.
If you pay monthly or weekly with a plan that started before the 1st April, then this amount won’t go up until you need to renew your licence.
Do you need a TV licence?
Viewers have to pay the annual fee if they’re watching live TV or on BBC iPlayer, and the money goes towards funding the BBC.
You do not need a TV licence if you just watch streaming services, like Netflix or Now TV, at home.
Millions of Sky customers will see their bills rise this year, as the telecoms giant confirms price hikes.
Bills for affected customers will rise by an average of £2.50 a month, which will add up to £30 a year.
Can you avoid the price hike?
In short- yes, but only if you cancel your contract.
If you’re a Sky customers outside the minimum term of your contract, then you can cancel it penalty free.
For TV customers, you’ll need to give 30 days notice, if you’re a broadband or phone customer then it’s 14 days notice.
If you’re still in your contract and you’re unhappy with the changes, you can try haggling with them, by calling Sky customer service, but this is risky as there is no guarantee it’ll work.
Millions of mobile phone users will see their bills rise this year, as four major networks announce they will be hiking prices by up to 4.1%.
EE, Vodafone, Three, and O2 customers will see their bills rise over the next few months, as the networks have raised prices.
A typical EE customer will see their monthly bills rise by £1.22 a month, or £14.64 a year.
A Three spokesperson also confirmed that bills will be rising, but failed to confirm how much extra customers will have to pay.
O2 customers will see bills rise by 4% from April onwards, and the telecoms firm will be letting customers know from the 19th February how much extra they’ll have to pay.
Vodafone have confirmed that it will be raising prices in line with inflation rates.
Can you avoid it?
If you were not first warned about the increase in charged when you signed up for the contract, then customers can leave the plan without being charged a penalty.
However, most customers will have been warned about inflation hikes in the small print of their contract, so check yours before trying to leave your provider.
If you’re in a locked in contract and decide to quit, then you’ll have to pay an “exit fee”.
So far, Eon is the only company to announce that it is putting its energy bills up.
Around one million households will face higher bills for gas and electricity as a result of this.
The average annual increase will be £22, but one in four households on the standard variable tariff will have to pay an extra £50 a year.
E.ON also sneakily revealed its price changes through price comparison site Energyhelpline, instead of sharing the information with the press or public.
Although E.ON isn’t increasing the rate that it charges for units of gas or electricity, scrapping these discounts is effectively raising prices for hard-pressed households.
The changes will come into effect on the 19th April.
How can you avoid gas and electricity costs going up?
One great way to save on energy bills is to switch supplier.
Last year, looking around for a better deal saved the average household £250.
Are you going to be affected by these increases? Let us know in the comments.