Changes affecting your household finances in 2017
There’s set to be a series of rises to essential household bills in April which could stretch your budget.
This is as well as some changes to National Living Wage and Benefits which could also see some impact on your purse strings.
We’ve given you a roundup of the key changes so you know what to expect when making financial decisions in 2017.
- Water and sewage rate rises – On 1 st April water and sewage bills went up by an average of 2% making a typical annual bill £395.
- Electricity price rises – Customers of SSE who are on standard tariffs will see prices rise by 14.9%. Eon customers will also see a rise of 13.8% for electricity and 3.8% rise for gas. Most other suppliers will also be increasing their prices.
- Telecoms including EE, Vodafone and BT are putting up their prices too.
- Council Tax rises – Average of 4% (£61 for a typical Band D property).
- TV License increases to £147 per year (from £145.50)
- Car Tax on new cars will be £140. Luxury cars costing more than £40,000 will pay an additional £310.
- NHS charges – Prescriptions now £8.60
- NHS dental charges – Check up £20.60 – Filling £56.30 – Complex treatments £244.30.
- Benefits freeze – JSA, ESA, child benefit and housing benefit will be frozen for the second year in a row. With inflation running at 2.3% this will amount to a significant cut, especially if the freeze continues, as it’s due to, until March 2020.
- ESA Benefits – New claimants for the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) will receive £29 a week less than existing claimants bringing them in line with claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- Child tax credits – Those whose first child was born before 6th April will see no change. Those who have a third or subsequent child after this date will receive no payment for that child limiting future tax credits to two children only. The IFS (Institute for Fiscal Studies) calculated that three child families would be £2500 per year worse off.
- Inheritance tax – From 6th April you can transfer a property as a main residence as part of the estate allowing an extra £100,000 to be passed on tax free. There is still a 40% tax to pay on amounts over £425,000. For married couples/civil partners the amount increases to £850,000 tax free.
- ISA Savings – The allowance for saving in an ordinary ISA goes up to £20,000 from 6th April.
- Lifetime ISA (LISA) The government will add a 25% bonus after a year (up to a maximum of £1000). The money must be used to either buy or property or in retirement. Anyone over 40 is unable to open a LISA.
- National Living Wage increases for anyone over 25 to £7.50 per hour.
- Income tax personal allowance threshold will now be set at £11,500. The higher rate threshold has increased from £43,000 to £45,000.
If any of these changes are leading you to consider your financial future or you have any questions about mortgage affordability please get in touch.