Bleak Friday has been and gone, but its effects will be with us for the foreseeable future…
Friday April the 1st, traditionally a day of jovial (if forced and potentially irritating) tomfoolery, this year, was dubbed ‘Bleak Friday’ by many, as the price cap on energy allowed energy companies to increase bills by 54% and a plethora of other price increases hit us too.
Energy bills up £693 a year on average
The 54% price cap increase means that energy companies can now charge up to £1,971 a year for customers with average use and direct debit set up. Any household using above the average usage level will pay more than this.
Council Tax has risen by 3.5%, which averages at £67 a year. The average annual council tax bill on a Band D property will go up to £1,966.
Water bills are up as well. By 1.7%, or £7, a year – taking the average annual bill to £419 for water.
TV, broadband & phones
Are up by about £42 a year.
Many services and streaming companies have announced that they’re increasing their prices this financial year.
Sky’s Essential broadband package has gone up by 10% to £27.50 a month, while the Superfast service is up 9% to £30.50 a month. On average it says customers will pay less than 5%, or £3.60, more.
BT’s prices went up on Thursday by 9.3%, which it said meant customers paying an average of £3.50 a month more. Some customers, including those with BT Basic or Home Essentials, will not see prices rise.
Vodafone is hiking monthly mobile phone bills by up to 9.3%. If your plan started before 9 December 2020, it’ll go up by 8.2% to reflect the retail prices index (RPI) rate published in March 2022. A £40 plan will go up by £3.28. If your contract was taken out more recently, your monthly cost will go up by 9.3%. For a £40 plan, that means shelling out an extra £3.72.
Vehicle Excise Duty
The cost of taxing your car is going to go up as well; by around £10 a year. Car Tax is based around a variety of features, including how old your car is, what type of fuel it takes and the emissions it gives off. The most polluting cars can expect to see an even larger increase of £30.
During covid a temporary VAT cut was given to hospitality businesses to try and help stimulate their revival; this has now come to and end, meaning that pubs and restaurants are among the businesses that are facing a 60% tax increase. Some of that is bundled in a VAT increase from 12.5% to 20%, which is expected to be reflected in prices charged to customers. Sacha Lord, Manchester’s Night-time Economy Adviser has projected that this will add around 20p to the average price of a pint over the next three months.
Lateral flow tests
Free LFTs will no longer be provided to most households. Tesco and Boots are now charging £2 a test, although cheaper options can be found online.
Social housing rents
Are going up by 4.1%.
Housing associations have been told they can increase their prices inline with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) figure plus one percentage point, which comes to 4.1%. Thinktank, The Resolution Foundation, says this works out at an average increase of £202 a year for the 4.5m households that’ll be affected.
Furthermore, rents charged on shared ownership properties are usually linked to the higher RPI, and many tenants are facing their rent increasing by more than 5%.
All of these factors conspire to make this financial year a really tough one for many households.
If your finances feel like they’re already running away from you, a formal debt solution could be a more effective option to deal with your debts. If you’d like to find out more about the debt solutions available to you, give us a call on 0141 816 0394 or complete our enquiry form.