BT announces price hike of more than 9% by end of March: Customers face paying extra £3.50-a-month for phone and broadband bills as cost of living crisis continues
- BT has announced a price hike of more than nine per cent from the end of March
- Affected customers will pay an average of £3.50-a-month extra, or £42 annually
- Financially vulnerable households and those on some packages will be exempt
- The telecoms giant has seen a 90 per cent rise in broadband usage since 2018
BT has announced a price hike of more than nine per cent from the end of March as the cost of living crisis continues.
The telecoms giant said customers affected will pay an average of £3.50-a-month, or £42 annually, extra for phone and broadband bills.
But financially vulnerable households and those on certain packages, including BT Home Essentials and BT Basic, will be exempt from the change.
The move follows a dramatic increase in data usage over the past few years, the company said in a statement.
Telecoms giant BT said customers affected by a price hike of more than 9% will paying an average of £3.50 a month, or £42 annually, extra for phone and broadband bills (file photo)
BT changed how it raised bills around two years ago, introducing a system of one increase a year at the end of every March.
Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed two thirds of UK adults have seen their cost of living jump over the past month.
Some 66 per cent of people surveyed had been hit by cost increases, including steeper energy bills and rising food prices, according to the ONS.
Nick Lane, BT’s managing director for consumer services, said: ‘Price rises are never popular, but are sometimes a necessary part of business, if we’re to keep up with the rising costs we face.’
Working from home, online education and increased TV streaming have increased demands on the company’s network, with a 90 per cent rise in broadband usage since 2018, and a 79 per cent increase on mobile phones since 2019, he added.
The hike this year will be 3.9 per cent plus inflation, as measured by the consumer price index to reflect ‘rising costs to the business’, according to BT.
Working from home, online education and increased TV streaming have increased demands on BT’s network, with a 90 per cent rise in broadband usage since 2018 (stock image)
Elsewhere, experts have warned that the cost of living will continue to climb over the next few months as gas and electricity tariffs are expected to rise by around 50 per cent in April.
Inflation soared to 5.4 per cent last month, its highest rate since March 1992, as households faced surging food prices on top of sky-high energy and fuel bills.
The Office for National Statistics said December’s figure was up from 5.1 per cent in November, and is the highest since 1992 as the cost of living squeeze continues.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that the rate would get to 5.2 per cent in December – so the official reading was 0.2 percentage points above estimates.
Household finances are under pressure as gas and electricity tariffs have also seen major rises and supply chain problems are pushing up costs across the economy.
Pensioners will be particularly hard hit, with the scrapping of the triple lock meaning a planned 8.3 per cent increase will now only be a 3.1 per cent boost, just as the cost of essential goods surges more than 6 per cent.
Inflation is now at historic highs. Pictured: Graph showing inflation from 1992 up to the current date, based on ONS data
An ONS graph of the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and the owner occupiers’ housing costs (OOH) component
Th ONS data showed that December’s increase reflected rising food prices and the higher cost of clothing and furniture. This graph shows contributions to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate
Meanwhile, senior Tories have warned Boris Johnson (pictured) that he will be punished at the ballot box unless he remedies the cost of living crisis
The ONS said the price of goods produced by UK factories was up 9.3 per cent in the year to December – slightly down from the 9.4 per cent rise in the year to November.
And the price of materials and fuels used by manufacturers rose 13.5 per cent in the year to December, down from the 15.2 per cent growth in the year to November.
The Bank of England last month became the world’s first major central bank to raise interest rates since the start of the pandemic, from 0.1 per cent to 0.25 per cent.
The move, which was an attempt to try to cool the rampant inflation rate, came a day after data showed CPI had unexpectedly surged to a 10-year high in November.
Financial markets see a high chance that the Bank of England will raise rates again on February 3 and announce that it will allow its £875billion stock of government bonds to fall as the gilts begin to mature.
Inflation is also turning into a political problem for Boris Johnson, who is facing calls to offset an expected 50 per cent rise in regulated household energy prices in April.
A YouGov survey published by The Times found 86 per cent of people are braced for the cost of living to increase and two thirds (67 per cent) are personally worried about rising prices.
Senior Tories have warned Mr Johnson he will be punished at the ballot box unless he remedies the cost of living crisis.
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