How will April 1's new charges and laws affect you?

The start of April has seen several new charges and law changes come into effect, from the new National Living Wage to council tax payments and stamp duty increases.

Here’s a summary of each of the key changes:

A compulsory “National Living Wage” (NLW) for full-time and part-time workers aged 25 and above will increase to £7.20 an hour. It takes effect from 6 April.

Anyone buying an additional property in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will pay an extra 3% stamp duty.

The stamp duty land tax (SDLT) affects companies and individuals alike and will impact on buy-to-let landlords.

As reported by ITV News in January, council tax bills from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 reflect the 4% increase many councils across England have chosen to enforce for Band D properties.

Workers from outside the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) who have been working for more than five years in the UK must earn more than £35,000 a year to stay.

The Home Office estimates the change to Tier 2 visa rules will reduce the number of successful applications for permanent residence by two thirds.

A new flat-rate pension of £155.65 a week will replace the previous two-tier system, which saw the basic rate of £115.95 topped up by secondary and additional pensions.

Pensioners who contracted out of paying an additional state pension top up or under-paid National Insurance while working will not qualify for the full amount though.

Payments for those exiting the public sector is now capped at £95,000 following criticism of “fat cat” executives earning large pay offs from the state.

The Government is also now empowered to “claw back” termination payments to any public sector workers returning to the same area of work within a short time period.

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