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Seven things more expensive from today

Written by: Emma Lunn
It’s Price Hike day – 1 April is the day the cost of everyday goods and services go up in line with, and sometimes above, the rate of inflation.

The first day of April is always an expensive day, with bills and other costs rising for millions of people.

A plethora of organisations use either today, or the start of the new tax year on 6 April, as a prompt to charge customers more.

Here’s what’s changing this month.

NHS prescriptions

The NHS prescription charge in England has increased from £9.15 to £9.35 per item.

In addition, the price of a three-month pre-payment certificate has gone up from £29.65 to £30.25 (an increase of 60p), while a 12-month PPC has gone up from £105.90 to £108.10 (an increase of £2.20).

TV licence

The TV licence fee has risen from £157.50 to £159 from today.

TV viewers who are blind or severely sight impaired are entitled to a 50% discount meaning that their licences now cost £79.50, a rise of 75p from £78.75.

Meanwhile, the cost of an annual black-and-white TV licence has gone up 50p from £53 to £53.50.

Council tax

Council tax bills rise this month in about two-thirds of England’s local authority areas.

This will push bills to more than £2,000 for many people in the country for the first time.

You can check with your local council to see whether you’ll be affected by council tax increases.

Mobile phone tariffs

O2 mobile customers will see their bills go up by 1.4% this month.

The price rise is in line with January’s retail prices index (RPI) measurement of inflation, and applies to anyone who has signed an O2 contract since 23 January 2014.

Three is increasing prices by 4.5% for customers who joined or upgraded on or after 29 October 2020.

Vodafone uses the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation – plus 3.9% – to work out how much to increase prices. This pricing strategy applies to upgrades or new contracts taken out after 9 December 2020.

Broadband contracts

Any new, renewing or upgrading BT and EE broadband, landline, and TV customers from 1 September 2020 will see annual price hikes by the CPI measure of inflation plus 3.9% take effect from today.

Sky customers will face price hikes of up to £72 a year, depending on which Sky products they have and when they signed their contract.

Virgin Media put up prices on 1 March.

Energy bills

The energy price cap has risen by £96 from £1,042 to £1,138 today.

For customers paying by prepayment meter, the level has risen by £87 from £1,070 to £1,156.

The energy price cap is the maximum amount a customer with typical energy usage on a standard or default energy tariff can be charged each year.

Vehicle excise duty

The government has uprated vehicle excise duty (VED) rates for cars, vans and motorcycles in line with RPI from today.

VED remains at £0 for electric cars and is unchanged for the least polluting vehicles. But for petrol and diesel cars, the tax has risen to £155 a year.

The tax for drivers of ‘premium cars’ costing more than £40,000 has risen to an eye watering £335 a year for the first five years of ownership.

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