Tax Hikes & Cuts Come In

Youth at a Unite rally protest against the enormous increase in the cost of living

TODAY, April 1, the first day of the new financial year, a barrage of vicious cuts and hikes come in attacking the living standards of workers, pensioners, youth and students alike.

The cap rises on energy bills, the triple-lock pension comes to an end, while the hike in National Insurance and council tax comes into effect.

The average Band D council tax rises today to £1,966, up £67 or 3.5 per cent on the previous year, according to data published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

This includes adult social care and parish precepts, but does not take into account the £150 council tax rebate that will be provided to households in Bands A to D by the government to help with rising energy prices.

The triple lock on the pension is to be suspended for 2022-2023. Instead, the state pension will be determined by either the inflation rate or 2.5%. Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said the triple lock would then be restored for the remainder of this Parliament, which ends in 2024.

The triple lock is a commitment, over and above the statutory requirement, to uprate the basic and new state pension by the highest of earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent.

Yesterday, energy websites were crashing all day as customers rushed to submit meter readings ahead of bills rising today.

Today, the energy price cap – the maximum price suppliers in England, Wales and Scotland can charge households is being raised.

The energy price cap increases today for approximately 22 million customers.

Those on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 per year (difference due to rounding). Prepayment customers will see an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017.

With the cost of living crisis worsening, the Tory government’s decision to raise the cost of National Insurance will see workers pay hundreds or thousands of pounds more in taxes each year.

The new 1.25 percentage point rise comes in today.

National Insurance kicks in on earnings in excess of £187 a week at a rate of 12% and then at 2% on all other earnings above £976 a week. From April, these rates will rise to 13.25 per cent.