Why April 1 is likely to mean a host of bill increases for Norfolk and Suffolk households
PUBLISHED: 14:02 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:02 01 April 2020
The region’s households are set to see their outgoings climb as annual rises to council tax, TV licences and other bills come into force.
Water bills, car tax, prescription charges, and broadband costs are among the fees set to rise.
The increases come as families are under lockdown and firms are forced to shut their doors due to the coronavirus outbreak.
With furloughs and layoffs a prospect for Norfolk’s workforce, rent, mortgages and bill payment all face strain and uncertainty.
But a personal finance expert urged consumers to shop around for savings.
The bills which are set to rise today (April 1) are:
• Council tax - bills in Norfolk are set to go up by around 4pc compared to around 3pc in Suffolk, after county councillors agreed a rise earlier this year,
• TV licences - rising by £3 in line with inflation to £157.50,
• Water bills - some providers will up prices by 4pc,
• NHS prescription charges - a rise of 15p in line with inflation,
• Car tax - rising by up to £535 due to RPI, excluding electric cars,
• Sky TV and broadband - up to 10pc as Sky increases its prices,
• Mobile bills - rising by up to 2.7pc based on CPI or RPI rate,
• And stamps - price rises of up to 9p, above the rate of inflation, were brought in on March 23.
However, energy bills are one area set to fall instead, with prices decreasing for many users after lower price caps were introduced.
Norwich-based consumer and personal finance journalist, Adam Aiken, said: “There are some good savings available if you’re prepared to shop around.
“If you’ve never switched energy provider, you’ll almost certainly be able to save a packet if you move to another company.
“Even if you have switched in the past, try to have a look at least every couple of years to see if moving supplier can help you.
“It’s the same with broadband, mobile phones and home telephones - and often you don’t even need to move provider.
“Just give them a call and ask if they can give you a better deal to stop you looking elsewhere.
“Insurance is a competitive market, but make sure you don’t focus so much on price that you end up with sub-standard cover.
“The other thing to do is see if you are paying for something you don’t need. Cutting just a couple of direct debits a month from your outgoings can make a huge difference over a year.”
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