1st April 2016
Consumers will be hit by a barrage of inflation-busting price increases from today, and unfortunately it’s not an April Fool’s joke.
As well as being a day for pranks, Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief at money.co.uk, said it also ‘seems to have become national price hike day’ and although the increases seem small, with some as low as 1% ‘all these small hikes add up to fewer pounds in your pocket’.
Stamp duty on second homes
Although this first rise won’t affect everyone, budding landlords and those hoping to purchase a holiday home will be hit by an extra 3% stamp duty. It will add £6,000 to the cost of buying a £200,000 property. Solicitors have been working hard to ensure deals go through before the deadline.
The largest council tax increase since 2008 is here after chancellor George Osborne confirmed councils will be able to charge an extra 2% to cover the cost of social care. Council tax in England, outside London, will rise by an average 3.6% – increasing the average band D bill by £54, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. For those living in greater London, bills will increase by just 0.6% or £8.04 on average.
Households in the UK pay on average £2 more for their water and sewerage bill in 2016/17 as the average annual bill rises to £389.
However, the average disguises wider variations within the regions. The average Severn Trent customer will pay a combined bill of £329, the same as last year but a South West Water customer will have to pay £488, which would hit £538 if it was not for an annual £50 government contribution.
NHS prescription charges will increase 20p to £8.40 – or 2.4%. The government said that 90% of prescriptions are dispensed for free and this will remain.
NHS dental charges
Going to the dentist is never pleasant and it will be even more painful as the government has hiked the NHS charges 5%. This means the cost of having a crown fitted is no £11.20 and a course of band one treatment – that includes examination, diagnosis and X-rays or a scale and polish – will increase from £18.80 to £19.70. It will increase again next year to £20.60.
A cost of band two course of treatment – such as fillings, root canal treatment and tooth removal – rises £51.30 to £53.90, and will hit £56.30 next year.
For more complicated band three work, such as crowns, dentures and bridges, the cost will rise from £222.50 to £233.70 and again to £244.30 next year.
Air passenger duty
Those flying medium and long-haul will face a higher tax. Air passenger duty on economy flights to destinations more than 2,000 miles from London increases from £71 to £73. For those travelling in other classes the tax rises from £142 to £146.