April price hikes - these are the bills going up in April
Households will be hit with a series of bill increases from April - here’s what they are and how you can save money.
A series of household bills are about to go up from April - from broadband bills, stamps, prescriptions, council tax to even your energy bills. Are you prepared and can you beat them?
With inflation hitting 10.4% in February - well below the government’s 2% target for 2023, households continue to feel the pinch when it comes to living costs - and almost every bill will rise.
And though the UK hopes to avoid a recession in 2023 price rises are inevitable.
Here the April hikes you need to know about and how to beat them.
In his Spring Budget the chancellor extended the Energy Price Guarantee until July, meaning the unit price of energy will remain capped at its current level and the average typical household bill will remain at around £2,500 instead of rising to £3,000.
But the last payment from the government’s £400 energy grant is due in April, meaning from May households will face higher bills.
The good news is wholesale energy prices are falling, and Ofgem’s next price cap is predicted to fall below £2,000 for the first time since last year.
Temperatures will begin to rise from April, which should help you lower your energy use. But we have also outlined 13 ways you can cut your bills, including small changes you can make to cut your costs.
For example, adjusting your boiler, switching to LED bulbs and swapping your shower head for a more efficient model could cut hundreds of pounds off your bill.
Allowance cuts and tax hikes
The government decided not to increase taxes, but it did freeze tax thresholds. Fiscal drag will see thousands of people pulled into a higher tax band, which will raise money for the government.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt lowered the threshold at which the 45% rate of income tax kicks in, which will see high earners pay more tax on anything over £125,140.
You could reduce your taxable income by increasing your pension contributions if you can afford to do so.
Hunt announced he was scrapping the pension lifetime allowance in the Spring Budget in a bid to incentivise people to work for longer, so there is no limit as to how much you can save into your pension.
While the annual allowance remains in place, this is also increasing from £40,000 to £60,000 which will enable you to add more money to your retirement pot. Doing so could also help you cut your inheritance tax bill further down the line.
Additionally the capital gains tax allowance is also being cut from £12,300 to £6,000, as is the dividend allowance which will be cut from £2,000 to £1,000.
To avoid paying the higher rate of tax on your investments, you could consider a Bed and ISA. The process involves selling assets then buying them back within an ISA, so while it could incur taxes it will mean future gains are protected from the taxman.
Shifting investments into an ISA could help protect your future dividends. But it would be wise to do so before the start of the new tax year on 6 April, so as to not pay the increased rate of capital gains tax.
Local authorities will be hiking up their council tax from 1 April. Data from County Councils Network showed three quarters of English councils are planning a 5% tax.
Three councils have been given permission to hike tax by up to 15% after they effectively declared bankruptcy.
The average Band D household will see a £99 increase a year in their council tax bill.
We have compiled a list of the confirmed and proposed council tax increases in England, with tips on how to reduce your council tax bill. If you live in London, we have a list for that too.
Water bills are also rising by around 7.5% in April. Thankfully this is lower than the rate of inflation, but your bill will still be going up by around £31 if you live in England or Wales.
If you don’t already have one you could get a water meter, as otherwise you will be billed a set amount regardless of your usage.
And if you live alone, you can speak to your provider about a single-persons tariff, which will also save you money.
Broadband, TV and mobile bills
The price of broadband, tv and mobile bills is estimated to be going up by around £100 in April, according to Which?.
Providers are hiking bills in line with inflation. But if your provider tries to hike your prices by more than it’s allowed in the contract, or if your contract doesn’t include anything about price increases, you can leave penalty-free.
If your contract is ending, make sure you shop around to secure a good deal.
Prescription costs are going up by 30p, from £9.35 to £9.65 from 1 April.
If you need regular medication, you can save money with a prescription prepayment certificate. You can pay in advance for a monthly, three monthly or annual prescription.
Standard stamp prices will also be rising by 15p from 3 April. The cost of first-class stamps will go up to £1.10 from the current 95p.
Second-class stamps will rise by 7p to 75p.
You can stock up on stamps and still use them een after the new ones come in.