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Bills rising in April include water, broadband, council tax, prescription charges, NHS dental fees and stamps





Households are facing what is being dubbed an 'awful April' thanks to a long list of rising bills including water, broadband, prescription charges and council tax.

The increases, coming in or shortly after April 1, could leave families hundreds of pounds worse off according to some estimations.

April 1 is being called National Prike Hike Day. Image: iStock.
April 1 is being called National Prike Hike Day. Image: iStock.

And with inflation still at record levels there are fears among charities that these additional increases will mean some homes will struggle to afford or may be even tempted to skip other important outgoings like mortgage payments and credit card bills.

Senior reporter Lauren Abbott takes a look at the bills going-up this April and how they might impact your household.

Council tax bills are going up. Image: iStock.
Council tax bills are going up. Image: iStock.

Council tax

Millions of households in England face a 5% rise in council tax payments this month.

The compulsory charge – which collects money from homes to pay for local services – is set by local authorities.

Homes are graded into different bands depending on how much that property was worth at a certain time with people in more expensive properties facing a higher council tax band and bigger charge.

The government has increased the amount councils are allowed to put council tax up by without the permission of a local referendum – with many local authorities (with social care duties) going for the maximum 5% increase.

Those without social care duties have been permitted a 3% rise.

The £400 energy help scheme is coming to an end. Image: iStock.
The £400 energy help scheme is coming to an end. Image: iStock.

Energy bills

While the government has promised to maintain its freeze on energy bills for homes until June – when it is expected prices will come down by around 20% with a reduction in the price cap – energy bills will still rise for most from this month.

This is because the extra £400 in cost of living winter help – that has been sent to all households in six monthly payments since last autumn – is now coming to an end, which means homes will need to find more cash to cover their gas and electricity bills each month.

Water bills will be the highest for more than 15 years. Image: Stock image.
Water bills will be the highest for more than 15 years. Image: Stock image.

Water

Water bills are rising in April and will see the biggest increase for at least 15 years.

According to Water UK the average bill will go up by £31 to around £448 a year.

But amounts paid by specific households will vary depending on their water company, the type of home they live in and whether they have a water meter.

Many providers are increasing broadband charges this month by around 14%
Many providers are increasing broadband charges this month by around 14%

Broadband

Permitted mid-contract price increases will mean that broadband bills are expected to rocket for most homes by around 14%. There could be increases for mobile phone customers and those with TV packages too.

The rise, which is in line with inflation and then combined with an additional percentage, will apply to most customers locked into a deal with their existing provider.

High exit fees mean that most homes won't be able to avoid the price rises – despite pleas from some charities and consumer groups to abandon the increases this year with the cost of living crisis ongoing.

The price of a stamp, now featuring the King on many designs, is going up. Image: Royal Mail.
The price of a stamp, now featuring the King on many designs, is going up. Image: Royal Mail.

Stamps

The charge to post a letter or birthday card is going up 16% as Royal Mail hikes the price of a stamp.

From Monday, April 3 a first class stamp will breach the £1 mark – going up from 95p to £1.10.

Meanwhile second class stamps will go up by 7p – from 68p to 75p.

Taxing your car will cost you more this April. Image: iStock.
Taxing your car will cost you more this April. Image: iStock.

Car tax

While the spring budget maintained the 5p cut in fuel duty for another year, motorists won't escape an increase in car tax from this April.

From April 1 charges increase by 10.1% – with the exact amount people pay governed by the age of their vehicle, when it was registered and the emissions it expels.

Prescription charges join the list of things going-up. Image: iStock.
Prescription charges join the list of things going-up. Image: iStock.

Prescriptions

Patients in England are paying more for NHS prescriptions from April 1.

A single prescription has gone up 30p from £9.35 to £9.65 for each medicine or appliance dispensed – an increase of 3.2%.

The cost of a prescription pre-payment certificate (PPC), which covers claiming multiple NHS prescriptions for a set price and for a set length of time is also now costing more. The PPC has increased by £1 for a three month certificate to £31.25 and by £3.50 for a 12-month certificate to £111.60.

The recently introduced HRT PPC – which is designed to make it easier and cheaper for women to take regular HRT medication – costs £19.30 for the year.

Seeing a dentist will soon cost you more. Image: iStock.
Seeing a dentist will soon cost you more. Image: iStock.

NHS dental charges

From April 24 the cost to see an NHS dentist will increase.

Price changes mean the cost of a Band 1 treatment like a check-up will increase from £23.80 to £25.80. A Band 2 appointment for treatment like a filling will increase from £65.20 to £70.70, and a Band 3 treatment like new dentures will increase from £282.80 to £306.80 – an extra £24.

Shawn Charlwood, chair of the British Dental Association’s General Dental Practice Committee said it fears the hikes will fuel already widening oral health inequality.

He said: "This is an utterly grotesque display of priorities from the Treasury.

"This hike won’t put a single penny into a struggling service. Our patients are being asked to pay more simply so ministers can pay less."



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