Belfast Telegraph

April 1 no joke for consumers in 'national price hike day'

April 1 is no joke for bill payers - as it has been dubbed "national price hike day" due to a wave of increases to the cost of day-to-day activities clustered around this date.

People's wallets will be hit "left, right and centre," by the increased costs, from when they post a letter to when their next household bill lands on their doormat, money experts have warned.

The cost of an NHS prescription in England will increase by 20p to £8.60 from April 1, as dental costs also increase, with the price of a check-up rising by 90p to £20.60.

Also from this date, a colour TV licence will cost £147 - a £1.50 increase.

Figures recently compiled by the Press Association have shown nine out of 10 local authorities in England are increasing their level of council tax from April. Residents in some areas will see their bills rise by as much as 5%.

And households in England and Wales will be charged an average £395 for their water and sewerage over the coming year - an increase of £6.

Prices are also heating up for energy customers, after a raft of firms have recently announced increases.

Co-operative Energy is increasing the cost of its standard variable tariff by an average of 5% from April 1, adding an estimated £58 a year to bills.

Scottish Power has also announced that from the end of March, standard dual fuel prices would increase by an average of 7.8%.

NPower has also recently hiked gas and electricity prices by 9.8% - a move adding around £109 to annual dual fuel bills.

Other price rises are also in the pipeline, with E.On set to increase its standard variable dual fuel prices by an average of 8.8% from April 26.

The cost of posting a letter is more expensive than it was last weekend. Stamp prices increased on Monday, with the price of a first class stamp rising by 1p to 65p and a second class stamp increasing by 1p to 56p.

Hannah Maundrell, editor-in-chief of money.co.uk, said: "It really is national price hike day as the cost of everyday activities is going up left, right and centre.

"From postage to prescription and dental costs, your wallet is going to be hit left, right and centre."

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