Council tax hike: Britons face 4.3 percent increase – but do you qualify to save hundreds?


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Council tax hike: Britons face 4.3 percent increase - but do you qualify to save hundreds?

The rise comes following news that councils are dealing with budgetary black holes due to the impact of COVID-19. The increase in monthly outgoings will no doubt be a concern for many, with council tax being just one form of bills to rise.

“Receiving the news that extra cash will need budgeting for over the next 12 months is never a good thing,” Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, commented.

“But after the events of the past year, these council tax hikes are just another additional pressure for those already struggling to stay financially afloat.

“The 1st of April was National Price Hike day, where the cost of living in the UK surged by an average of £206 for every UK household.

“In some instances, such as with an electricity bill, customers would’ve been notified in advance of the change – but the vast majority of price increases had either already happened, or came with no warning at all.

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“Some of the incremental changes may seem insignificant, such as the five pence additional charge to a pint of milk or the one percent increase in the cost of a TV licence.

“That being said, the pressure to find an additional £206 per household will take its toll on some, and is hardly ideal given the particularly turbulent financial year many have had.”

For those concerned about the prospect of increased council tax bills, or who are simply looking for ways to reduce monthly outgoings, Mr Haqqi has shared some budgeting tips.

Among them is a reminder for those who live alone that they may be able to get a discount on their council tax bill.

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“Living alone? Make sure companies are made aware,” he said.

“If you currently live alone, but previously shared your home with a partner, family or housemates, there are ways to cut the cost of living that you may not be aware of.

“Firstly, living alone allows you to take advantage of a 25 percent discount on your council tax bill, saving you hundreds of pounds a year.

“It’s also worth checking your benefits, as these are often based not only on your individual wage, but on total household income.

“If you now live by yourself, this could mean you’re eligible for financial assistance you’re not receiving.”

What are some other money saving tips suggested by the personal finance expert?

Check bills regularly

“It’s always a good idea to check your regular household bills,” he said.

“Some companies, like energy providers, have been known to make mistakes when charging customers.

“Keeping on top of your regular bills and outgoings has become more important than ever, especially as we continue to deal with the ongoing effects of the pandemic.

“With more people staying at home for long periods and working from home for the foreseeable future, bills for energy, water and mobile data may well be going up.”

Understand energy bills

“They can often be written with a huge amount of confusing jargon, but attempting to understand the information related to your energy tariff and household consumption could help you lessen your bill.

“The personal projection on the bill is the amount your household is expected to spend during the next 12 months, and the tariff comparison rate figure will help you understand how much you’re spending per kilowatt hour of electricity and gas.

“This information makes it easier to compare energy deals if you are planning to switch to a cheaper one, or help you keep a close eye on your current energy consumption.”

Cancel payments for unused services

“Now that the world is slowly beginning to open up again, it’s time to assess whether all those streaming subscriptions you signed up for during the peak of lockdown boredom are worth the monthly cost moving forward.

“Are you still paying for a gym membership that is barely being used? Time to cancel that monthly membership that’s draining a hole in your pocket.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed


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