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Average cost of living to rise £206 per home

Average cost of living to rise £206 per home

Average living costs are set to rise on April 1 by £206.41 - almost 10 per cent per home - according to an annual report from money.co.uk.

April 1, dubbed National Price Hike Day, will see new inflation figures applied to goods and therefore increase normal costs for the general public.

The report by the financial comparison website stated the average cost of living will increase by £5.69bn overall for the 27.6m homes in the UK.

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This figure includes households’ water bills, TV licence cost, energy bills, broadband and mobile phone payments.

Water costs, which fell to £396 on average in 2019, are up again to £408, representing a 3 per cent increase on last year, and a 6 per cent increase since 2015.

Council tax for a band D house has risen from £1,817 in 2020 to £1,881, a total of 4 per cent. Since 2015, council tax bills have risen 27 per cent, according to money.co.uk.

Energy costs have increased over the year too, by 15 per cent, despite falling from 2019 to 2020. In 2020, the average energy bill was £776,14 and it now stands at £903.45.

James Andrews, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: “The financial year means many companies will be increasing their costs. In some instances, for example with your electricity bill, you’ll be notified of the change – but the vast majority of price changes have either already happened or will come with no warning at all.

“Although some of the changes seem small, they add up to a £206 extra for each household, which is hardly ideal given the particularly turbulent financial year many of us have had.” 

Other price hikes

TV licence costs are up £1.50 - just 1 per cent – from £157.50 to £159. Since 2015 they have gone up 9 per cent.

For mobile phone contracts, the cheapest sim-only contract has not risen since 2020 and stands at £3.95.

Unlike other costs on the list, NHS band one charges have increased recently - in December 2020 to £23.80, up from £22.70 in 2019. Money.co.uk said it’s likely the price will remain at this level for the remainder of the year. 

Additional costs for prescriptions, milk and stamps take the overall figure for UK households to a total of £5.95bn per year.

Costs for standard prescriptions have risen 2 per cent in 2020, from £9.15 to £9.35, with a 14 per cent overall increase on 2015.

The price of milk has risen 10 per cent on 2020, going up from 50p to 55p.

A rise of 8 per cent - 6p - is applicable to a single first-class stamp, which now costs 85p instead of 79p. Since 2015, the costs of stamps have increased 35 per cent.  

Ruth Gillbe is a freelance reporter for FTAdviser