April 1 has traditionally been known as April Fool’s Day – but millions of households won’t smile when they realize it’s a day when many bills will soar.
It will see a significant rise in municipal taxes, water bills, TV licenses and mobile bills, as well as a number of other household bills.
Motorists will also see their bills rise in 2020, as many car models are likely to ramp up to a higher car tax bracket as vehicle tax increases in line with retail price inflation.
The increases will come when a large proportion of households are under pressure due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on job security, mortgage payments and other personal finances.
Rising: Households across the country will see bills rise on April 1, 2020, including city taxes
However, customers don’t just have to accept the new costs and can make changes to reduce their bills.
Which bills go up, why do they rise and how much can they increase?
This is money, with help from Which? Distributes all invoice increases and tells you what you can do to keep costs down.
1. Council tax
Bills increase due to: Up to 15 percent
Why the bills are rising: As in most years, the municipal tax in England and Wales will increase before 2020/21.
In 98 municipalities, the bills will exceed the central government’s recommended tax rate of 4 percent, with 24 municipalities exceeding 5 percent.
Wales sees the largest percentage increase by anywhere from 8 percent or more.
The highest increase is in Pembrokeshire at 15.4 percent with £ 1,252.41 levied on Band D properties.
The average municipal tax in England will increase by 3.9 percent, but the picture varies greatly.
How to beat it: In response to the coronavirus, the government is making available a £ 500 million hardship fund to reduce municipal tax assessments for low-income people of working age and to support the vulnerable through local aid.
This is in addition to existing hardship relief for those experiencing exceptional hardship for reasons beyond their control.
You can also get a 25% discount for one person if you live alone or with a full-time student or if you live with someone with a serious mental disability such as dementia.
You can also appeal to put your property in a different bond – if successful, it could lower the bills.
However, it can also have the opposite effect. You could pay more if the council bumps you.
In 98 municipalities, the bills will violate the 4% tax limit recommended by central government
2. TV licenses
Bills increase due to: £ 3
Why the bills are rising: The TV license increases with inflation. It increases by £ 3 to £ 157.50 a year – a 2 percent increase based on inflation.
How to beat it: If inflation continues, you can beat next year’s increase by purchasing or renewing your license before the next increase in April 2021.
You can pay in installments or all at once, but as long as you start your annual license before April 1, you will continue to pay the old rate until the 12 months have passed.
Save £ 104.50 by switching to a black and white license for £ 53 from April.
Currently, if you are 75 or older and receive or cohabit with someone who receives retirement credit, the license is free. If you have visual impairment or are blind, the license costs half of £ 78.75.
Rise: TV licenses are set to rise by £ 3 to £ 157.50 a year, according to inflation
3. Water bills
Bills increase due to: Up to 4 percent
Why are the bills rising: Average domestic water and sewerage bills in England and Wales will fall by 17 or 4 percent to £ 396.60 under pressure from regulator Ofwat.
However, some people will see a 4 percent increase in some cases, as prices vary by service provider.
How to beat it: You cannot change service providers, but you can switch to a water meter.
Your bill is calculated based on the taxable value of your home or a meter reading, so in some cases you can save with a meter.
People who use a lot of water for health or family reasons can get help with their bills, as water companies want to double the number of people they help with their bills over the next five years.
Bills increase due to: 15p
Why are the bills rising: Costs are rising in line with inflation.
How to beat it: If you need a lot of recipes, a prepayment certificate is worth considering. Their prices were held last year, but will rise this time.
A three-month certificate costs 55 cents more at £ 29.65, but you save if you need four or more recipes during that time.
A 12-month certificate goes up £ 1.90 to £ 105.90, saving on 12 or more items.
Customers can save money on their prescriptions by purchasing a prepayment certificate
5. Car tax
Bills increase due to: Up to £ 535
Why are the bills rising: The excise duty on vehicles will go in line with RPI on April 1, except for fully electric cars that do not pay car tax because they do not emit CO2.
However, other new cars are likely to be taxed more than identical models registered before April.
A new pollution test that reflects more lifelike driving behavior has shown that cars are dirtier than previously recognized.
Many models are likely to be bumped from £ 20 with higher paying tax brackets with more withdrawals up to £ 535, although this rate should only be paid in the first year. This happens on April 6.
How to beat it: This is hard to beat unless you buy an electric car.
6. Sky TV and broadband
Bills increase due to: Up to 10 percent
Why are the bills rising: Sky will be raising prices for many of its broadband and most of its TV customers starting April 1.
There is a monthly increase from £ 2 on Sky Broadband Essential to £ 22 and on the base TV package, Sky Entertainment, to £ 24. There is also an increase of £ 1 per month on both Sky TV Multiscreen for £ 14 for contracted customers and Sky HDTV up to £ 6.
If a customer has all of these options, the increase would be up to 10 percent.
Those who don’t have a contract will see the same increase, but the initial price increase may be higher.
Other providers are also raising bills – check yours to see if you’re hit by the move.
How to beat it: If you have been a customer for a long time, it is worth negotiating with Sky.
If you cancel your membership during your minimum period, you will likely have to pay a fee. If you are not satisfied with Sky’s service, file a complaint directly with Sky and if that doesn’t work, go to CISAS’s Alternative Dispute Resolution.
To find a better deal, use price comparison services that will reveal what offers are currently on the market.
Sky TV and broadband customers were able to see their bill increase by a maximum of £ 6 per month on April 1
7. Mobile accounts
Bills increase due to: Up to 2.7 percent
Why are the bills rising: The major mobile phone providers all pay their monthly paid prices.
They are allowed to raise their prices based on inflation, but the exact increases vary by 1.1 percent, depending on whether they use the CPI or RPI rate and in which month.
The hikes revealed so far range from 1.6 percent of BT based on January CPI to O2 and 2.7 percent from January compared to January RPI.
How to beat it: It’s worth negotiating with your provider to see if you can get a better deal on your contract.
If not, use price comparison services to see what other deals are currently on the market.
Let your current provider know that you are shopping as that could influence their decision.
Bills increase due to: Up to 9p
Why are the bills rising: The above inflation price increases on stamps were already introduced on March 23.
In the annual cost review, Royal Mail has increased its stamps for large premium letters by 9 cents to £ 1.15.
Ordinary at 6p to 76p – up 8.57 percent – almost five times more than CPI inflation in January.
Second class ordinary stamps increased by 4 cents to 65 cents, an increase of 6.15 percent that was held back by going beyond Ofcom’s limit on 2nd class stamps.
Large second class stamps increased by 5 cents to 88 cents – an increase of 5.68 percent.
How to beat it: Royal Mail is still considered to be the cheapest way to send cards, letters and small packages weighing less than 1 kg.
However, it makes sense to compare courier services like MyParcelDelivery.
9. Energy bills
Bills increase due to: Potentially declining for many
Why are the bills rising: In fact, the energy price will drop for about 15 million households thanks to the lower price limits after the underlying energy price fell last year.
Two caps will start on April 1 and run until September 30, 2020. Energy suppliers must adhere to both.
Customers using rates that fall below the standard price limit, such as standard variable rates or the prepayment meter limit, will see costs drop, provided usage remains the same.
An average user affected by the standard price limit will see their bill drop by £ 17 or nearly 1.5 percent to £ 1,162 in six months.
However, households could save £ 305 – 18 times as much – by switching to a cheaper deal, energy watchdog Ofgem said.
How to beat it: While the unit price cut is good news, energy costs can still rise due to self-insulation and working from home.
In addition to switching, it is also worth reducing consumption.
Can you lower your energy bill?
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