Energy price hikes add to worries about the rising cost of living

Though inflation has come down considerably in the past year, from 2.7 per cent in February 2018 to 1.8% January 2018, with much of the decrease down to a reduction in the cost of gas and electricity the trend is likely to soon reverse.

With all Big Six energy providers announcing rises to their standard variable tariffs February, UK consumers are expected to shell out an additional £1.3 billion this year just to keep their houses running. That equates to an average household increase of over £100, with the utility companies using the fact that the cap for pre-payment meter customers is rising by 10.3% to £1,242 in April as an excuse to increase their variable rates by the same amount.

The hikes come just as Sky has followed the lead of Virgin Media by raising the cost of its television, broadband and phone tariffs, while EE, Three Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone have all said that some of their mobile charges will go up in the coming months.

On top of that, the British Retail Consortium has warned that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on March 29 tariffs of 40% or more could be applied to a range of foodstuffs, putting household spending under even greater strain.

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