April heralds quite a few changes some of which may affect the majority of us one way or another:
- National living wage - on 1st April the National Living Wage increased wages to £7.20 per hour for those aged 25 or over.
- Prescription and dental charges – on 1st April prescription charges for England increased to £8.40 per item and an NHS dental check-up is now £19.70.
- Stamp Duty on second homes – from 1st April, second home buyers or buy-to-let landlords will pay an additional 3% stamp duty on properties purchased for more than £40,000.
- Non EU workers visa changes– from 6th April, UK visa rules change so that overseas workers earning less than £35,000 per annum will not be allowed to stay in the UK for more than 5 years. Some jobs, such as nurses and jobs under the ‘Shortage Occupation List’ are excluded.
- Micro-chipping dogs – from 6th April all dog owners in England, Scotland and Wales must micro-chip their pet and log their details on an approved database, such as Petlog. Owners could face a fine of £500 for not doing so.
- State pensions – from 6th April a flat rate payment of £155.65 will be paid per week.
- Personal Savings Allowance – from 6th April savers who pay basic rate tax, will be able to earn up to £1,000 interest on their savings tax free. The allowance for 40% payers will be £500 and for over 45% payers there will no allowance at all.
- Public sector pay rises – this month over 1 million public sector workers will receive up to a 1% pay rise.
- Housing Association rents – from this month, rents will decrease by 1% and will do so annually for the next 4 years.