Major financial developments to be watched out for 2023

All of the major financial developments to watch out for in 2023, month by month, including DWP benefits, the minimum wage, and energy costs.

From energy costs to benefit adjustments, January 1 marks the beginning of a slew of changes that will have an impact on your budget this year.

In terms of money, everything changes in 2023, with a slew of financial reforms taking effect as of today, January 1.

This year, the amount you pay out in energy bills, mortgage payments, and council tax, as well as the amount you receive in pensions, benefits, and the National Minimum Wage, will all change, with April being the busiest month as the New Year begins.

Here we look at the monthly adjustments and what they imply to you.


January 1: Energy price cap rise

The average energy price ceiling jumped to £4,279 today, although the Government's energy price guarantee (EPG) will maintain the average bill under £2500 until April 1. Customers on regular tariffs who pay their bills by cheque or cash when they receive them, as well as those on prepayment meters, will experience a slight hike. Customers who pay by monthly direct debit should see no change, and in the North East, they will actually pay somewhat less.

The difference may vary based on who you're with, how you pay, and where you reside, since the provider determines the difference, so your bill may rise or reduce, but the difference is likely to be minor for most families. Households on dual-pricing tariffs, such as Economy 7, are expected to be the worst impacted, paying roughly £150 extra each year. More information on the changes may be found here.

January 31: Tax return deadline

If you are self-employed or a high earner, you only have one month to file your online tax return for the fiscal year 2021-2022. The deadline for paper-form tax returns expired on October 31, 2022, thus submitting online is the only method to file on time currently. It may be a costly business if you miss the deadline. Self-assessment clients face a £100 penalty if their tax return is more than three months late, with additional fines of £10 per day after three months, up to a maximum of £900. If you are six months late with your payments, you will be penalized 5% of the tax you owe or £300, whichever is more. More information may be found here.

January 31: First payment on account deadline

If you are self-employed, payments on account are advance payments against your tax obligation. Normally, these payments are made twice a year to assist spread the amount of your tax obligation. The deadlines are January 31st and July 31st, respectively.


February 2: Potential interest rate rises

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England meets twice a quarter to consider whether interest rates should be raised, and the first meeting of 2023 is on February 2. A gain is wonderful news if you own stocks and bonds, but it is bad news if you have a loan, credit card, or mortgage.

February 27: Energy price cap announcement

Ofgem will announce the price cap to take effect from April 1, 2023.


March 5: Rail fares rise

In March, millions of commuters will pay 5.9% extra for train tickets. However, it might be worse, because prices typically climb each year based on the yearly increase in the retail price index (RPI) determined in July of the preceding year. The government just confirmed that train tickets will not rise by the RPI value of 12.3% in March 2023, but the 5.9% increase announced is still the largest increase in more than a decade.

March 23: Potential interest rate rises

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) second meeting of 2023.

March 31: Help to Buy deadline

Help to Buy equity loans are only available if your house purchase is completed by March 31. Help to Buy is intended to assist persons who want to enter the housing market with a 5% deposit. The government will lend you up to 20% of the purchase price, and you will be required to pay interest on the loan after five years.

March 31: End of monthly energy discounts

Most households across the UK are currently getting a £400 rebate on their energy bills, split over six months but this will come to an end on the last day of March, with no plans to extend.


April 1: Energy Price Guarantee rises

The EPG will rise from £2,500 to £3,000 per year for the average family. Because the government-backed bills subsidies caps unit rates and standing charges, you may pay more if you use more energy. If you use less, your bill will be lower. The EPG will be in effect until April 2024.

April 1: National Minimum and Living Wage rises

The National Living Wage (NLW) will be increased by 10% this year, from £9.50 to £10.42 per hour, benefiting more than 2.5 million British workers. The NLW is the bare minimum that all companies must pay employees aged 23 and up. Those under the age of 23 can instead be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW), which has been increased to £10.18 for 21-22 year olds and £7.49 for 18-20 year olds.

April 1: Council Tax rises

The Government has already stated that it will enable local governments to raise Council Tax over the 2.99% threshold without requiring a referendum, but most councils have yet to disclose how big the actual increase will be. Confirmation of raises is normally communicated in April, at the start of the new fiscal year, and this rate will be due beginning April 1.

April 1: Changes to prescription charges?

While nothing has been disclosed, any adjustments to prescription costs are expected to be revealed in early April. NHS prescription rates in England were fixed for the first time in 12 years in 2022/23, although it is unclear if this will be maintained. Currently, an NHS prescription costs £9.35 or £30.25 for a three-month prescription prepayment voucher (PPC).

April 1: Waters charges increase

Water bill increases will be announced in the New Year, but will become effective on April 1. Northumbrian Water raised its costs by 10% last year, however households in the North East still pay one of the lowest water rates even after the rise.

April 1: Increases to Council Tax and Housing Benefit Support

New rates and allowances for Housing Benefit where rent is paid monthly and Council Tax Support are timed to coincide with the new Council Tax year and the week in which many rents change.

April 4: Increases to Housing Benefit Support

This is the date that the increase in Housing Benefit when rent is paid on a weekly basis (or multiple of a week) comes into effect.

April 5: End of tax year

The end of the current tax year always falls on April 5, so this is your last chance to make the most of your tax-free ISA allowances for the year.

April 6: Changes to tax

Following the reduction of the 45% extra rate of income tax threshold from £150,000 to £125,140 in the next tax year, higher earners will be forced to pay more tax. However, the personal allowance will stay at £12,570, while the 20% tax threshold will be increased from £12,571 to £50,270.

April 10: Universal Credit and benefit payments to rise

On the first Monday after April 6, which this year comes on April 10, new rates and allowances for means-tested benefits (Universal Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, and Pension Credit) are increased. On this day, the bulk of other social security benefits will also see a rise in rates.

Millions of households will see an increase in benefit payments this year, as monthly benefits are due to rise in April in accordance with September's inflation rate of 10.1%.

April 10: State pension rise

In his Autumn Statement, Jeremy Hunt reaffirmed that the triple lock would remain in place, and that pensions would grow in pace with inflation. Millions of retirees will see their state pension payments increase by £870, raising the annual pension to £10,600.


May 11: Potential interest rate rise

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) third meeting of 2023.

End of May: Energy price cap announcement

Ofgem will announce the price cap to take effect from July 1, 2023.


June 22: Potential interest rate rise

Another meeting of the The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to set the Bank of England's base rate.


July 1: Energy price cap rise

New Ofgem energy price cap comes into effect, but the Energy Price Guarantee will keep bills at around £3,000 a year for the typical household to £3,000.

July 31: Deadline to use up stamps without barcodes

The Royal Mail has begun to phase in modern barcoded stamps to replace old-style stamps. Only the new type stamps with barcodes will be valid from July 31, and anything other will result in a fee.

July 31: Second payment on account deadline

If you are self-employed, payments on account are advance payments against your tax obligation. Normally, these payments are made twice a year to assist spread the amount of your tax obligation. The deadlines are January 31st and July 31st, respectively.


August 3: Potential interest rate rise

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee's (MPC) fifth meeting of 2023.

End of August: Energy price cap announcement

Ofgem will announce the price cap to take effect from October 1, 2023.


September 21: Potential interest rate rise

The sixth 2023 meeting of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee


October 1: Energy price cap rise

The new Ofgem energy price cap goes into effect, however the Energy Price Guarantee will maintain payments for the average household at roughly £3,000 per year.

October 31: Deadline for paper tax return

If you wish to fill out your tax return by hand, you must do it by the end of October. If you don't send in your paper forms on time, you can fill out your tax return online; the deadline is January 31 of the following year.


November 1: Energy help schemes start

Existing energy help schemes usually start to be paid in November. These include:

 Warm Home Discount scheme, which provides £150 off your energy bill to selected retirees and low-income people receiving certain benefits;

 Winter Fuel Payments, which provide up to £300. If you get a Winter Fuel Benefit, you will also be eligible for the pensioner cost of living payment, which may be worth up to £600.Winter Fuel Payments are generally valued between £100 and £300, depending on your age, who you live with, and whether or not you claim benefits;

 Cold Weather Payments are £25 for each 7-day stretch of extremely cold weather between November 1 and March 31, if you get specified benefits.

November 2: Potential Interest rate rise

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meet again


Mortgage hikes

In addition to the possibility of interest rate increases throughout the year, four million mortgage holders are already slated to have their monthly payments rise by the end of 2023 when they move off low-interest mortgages and are obliged to refinance onto a higher rate.

Payments for Living Expenses

As the cost of living issue worsens, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will make payments totaling up to £1,350 to the most disadvantaged in 2023. More than eight million UK households are expected to be eligible for the £900 payment, with millions more eligible for the pensioner payment. Specific payment dates have not yet been determined, however the £900 payment is expected to be made in instalments.


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