Cost of living: what has gone up in price from this month?
- Credit: Getty Images
The cost of living crisis has deepened for many households as energy bills rocket this month adding around £700 to the average household bill.
However, higher energy prices are not the only way households and businesses are set to feel the pinch.
Combined with record petrol prices, inflation at the supermarket and rising taxes, families are facing the biggest squeeze in household budgets in living memory.
Up 54%, £693 a year on average
The biggest jump in domestic energy bills in living memory has come into effect after regulator Ofgem was forced to hike the price cap by 54pc as gas prices soared to unprecedented highs.
The energy price cap for those on default tariffs who pay by direct debit has risen by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 for a typical household.
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The cap varies according to how you pay. Prepayment customers have seen an even bigger jump, with their price cap going up by £708, from £1,309 to £2,017.
It is set to hit households hard, especially those on low incomes and the elderly.
Charities have warned one in four people could fall into "fuel stress" if the price cap rises again in October based on current predictions.
Norfolk Citizens Advice said it had seen an 18pc increase in people seeking help for fuel debt and that a £200 rebate on their energy bills from October announced by the government, repayable over the next five years, is unlikely to help.
Chief executive Mark Hitchcock said: “Whilst we welcome measures announced by the Government which will offer some support to people in our area, the proposals do not go far enough.
“If the government doesn’t at least increase benefits to match the current rate of inflation, many more households will be pushed to crisis point and forced to make “heat or eat” choices.”
Up 75%, £625 per 500-litre delivery
Things are just as bad for rural households who rely on oil deliveries to heat their home. Many of them have seen prices more than triple over the past six months.
More than 76,000 Norfolk households use domestic heating oil.
Last September, those with oil-fired boilers were paying about £250 for a 500-litre delivery, since then prices have leapt to anywhere between £600 and £875 depending on how they pay and the length of their contracts.
It’s a cost of nearly £2,000 to fill a typical domestic tank, which may last three or four months.
Bernie Marsham, 73, from Swanton Morley, near Dereham, was quoted £1.20-a-litre, up from 62p at the end of January.
"How on earth are pensioners going to afford their oil unless they have got really good savings? They are going to be sitting in the cold,” he said.
Steve Nunn, of Community Action Norfolk, which runs community buying scheme Thinking Fuel, which sees users pool demand to lower costs, said: “Heating oil isn’t regulated on price and people are really worried at the moment.”
Up 6.7%, £33 a year on average
Families are facing higher water bills after Anglian Water announced increases of more than six per cent from this month.
Households of five people will see their average bill rise as much as 6.8pc, increasing it to £677.83 a year. Bills for households with four and three will see bills rise by 6.7pc, costing £590.77 and £510.17 respectively.
Couples will see a 6.6pc rise, increasing the bill to £416.66 while a person living on their own will see a rise of 6.4pc to £294.14 a year.
Up 3%, £44 for band D property
Norfolk County Council blamed a lack of government funding as they approved a council tax increase of almost three per cent.
The increase - which was lower than the 3.99pc rise that had been proposed by the council's own chief finance officer - has increased bills by £44 for a Band D property and £30 for those in Band A.
Council tax bills also include elements from district/borough or city councils and, in some cases, town and parish councils, as well as the police which have also risen.
Drivers were hit by the largest monthly spike in pump prices on record in March, despite a cut in fuel duty, according to new analysis.
The RAC said the average cost of a litre of petrol on forecourts rose by 11.6p to end the month at 163.3p. Diesel prices rose even more sharply, up 22.1p per litre to 177.3p.
The increases came despite Chancellor Rishi Sunak implementing a 5p per litre cut in fuel duty on March 23. That was worth a saving of 6p per litre owing to the impact on VAT.
Rising pump prices are being driven by surging wholesale costs caused by the war in Ukraine and rising demand as drivers return from working at home.
Up 1.25p in the pound
The National Insurance tax rise came into force this week hitting pay packets. Employees, businesses and the self-employed will pay an extra 1.25p in the pound.
It means that, instead of paying National Insurance contributions of 12pc on earnings up to £50,270 and 2pc on anything above that, employees will now pay 13.25pc and 3.25pc respectively.
The self-employed will see equivalent rates go up from 9pc and 2pc to 10.25pc and 3.25pc.
Payments will only be collected on wages above £9,880, although this rises to £12,570 in July - a threshold rise announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak at the recent Spring statement.
Ministers have said the plan is to use the extra revenues to fund the NHS, health and social care.
The cost of groceries is now 5.2pc higher than it was a year ago, with inflation in the past four weeks hitting its highest level in nearly a decade, according to new data.
Prices are rising fastest in markets such as savoury snacks, dog food and cat food, with jumps not seen since April 2012.
Grocery price inflation is seeing more shoppers turning to cheaper products and supermarket own-brand labels, while customers are also making fewer trips to stores to save on petrol costs, said analysts Kantar.
Ronald Kers, chief executive of the 2 Sisters Food Group - which has chicken factories at Thetford and Bungay - said the cost of food could rise by up to 15pc this year.
The cost of buying a pub meal, event ticket or hotel stay could become more expensive from this month as the temporary VAT cut on hospitality has come to an end.
The industry saw VAT dropped to five percent to support its recovery during the pandemic.
It rebounded back to 12.5pc last October as restrictions eased, but has now returned to 20pc.
Despite the initial fall in tax, few pub groups, restaurants and leisure businesses were able to pass on the benefits of the tax break - which covered soft drinks, food, event tickets, accommodation and other areas - to customers due the financial impact of the pandemic.
However some of the rise is expected to filter through to prices charged.
Broadband, phones and TV
Up about £40 a year
Mobile and broadband bills have risen this month. BT’s prices went up by 9.3pc, which it said meant customers paying an average of £3.50 a month more.
Sky’s Essential broadband package has gone up by 10pc to £27.50 a month. Vodafone has put up some monthly mobile phone bills by up to 9.3pc.
TV and streaming companies also have announced price hikes across their services. Netflix, for example, has increased basic and standard plans by £1 per month, costing subscribers an extra £12 per year.