No joke on 1 April: It's national 'price hike' day

aeroplane Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Air Passenger Duty is amongst the taxes going up on 1 April

More than a million workers are celebrating a pay rise as a result of the National Living Wage, but 1 April sees a raft of price rises too.

Council tax bills in England are going up by an average of 3.1%, or £46 a year, while residents of Wales will pay an extra £41.

Water bills, prescription charges, and the cost of air travel are also rising.

"It seems to have become national price hike day," said Hannah Maundrell, the editor in chief of

"The majority of the price hikes seem pretty small, many as low as 1%. However, all these small hikes add up and lead to fewer pounds in your pocket."

The latest figures show that CPI inflation is currently 0.3%.

Mobile Contracts

Apart from Council tax, here are some of the other increases:

  • Air Passenger Duty: Up by almost 3% on long-haul flights. APD on economy flights up from £71 to £73. The Scottish government plans to halve the tax by 2021.
  • Prescription Charges: Up by 20p to £8.40 in England. NHS Prescriptions are free in Scotland and Wales.
  • NHS dental charges: Cost of a check-up goes up by 5% to £19.70. Cost of a filling up by 5% to £53.90.
  • Mobile phone contracts: Three, O2 and EE are all increasing prices for some customers on monthly contracts.
  • Stamp Duty: Landlords and buyers of second homes will pay a 3% surcharge on Stamp Duty, or LBBT in Scotland.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Town Halls are warning that services will suffer, despite the tax increases

National Living Wage

After years of encouraging local authorities to freeze their Council Tax, the Treasury has now allowed a small increase, primarily to pay for the costs of social care.

However Council Tax will remain frozen in Scotland for another year.

Councils say that much of the increase will be spent on paying a higher level of wages, as a result of the introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW).

From 1 April, 1.3m workers over the age of 25 will be entitled to a minimum wage of £7.20 an hour, instead of £6.70 previously.

"After years of striving to keep council tax as low as possible or frozen, town halls find themselves having no choice but to ask residents to pay more council tax over the next few years to offset some of the spiralling costs of social care in 2016/17," said a spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA).

Councils also warned that the quality and quantity of services on offer could drop, as a result of further funding reductions next year.

They said the National Living Wage would bring "a significant further cost pressure from April".

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