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January 2013 will be harder than ever

 THE so-called ‘January slope’ will be more uphill than ever for most Spaniards, with price hikes for electricity, tolls and public transport, amongst others.

The ‘cuesta de enero’ (January slope) is a period when, following Christmas expenses and in conjunction with price rises, people traditionally find it hard to get by.

January 2013 will see electricity bills increase by between three and seven per cent. Natural Gas and butane gas bottles prices will remain the same.

State-run toll roads will increase their fees by an average of 2.4 per cent, short and medium distance train tickets will increase by 3 per cent on average, bus tickets will go up as much as 6.07 per cent and airport taxes 6.3 per cent.

The Correos (post office) will put up its prices by 2.95 per cent and Telefonica will also increase the price of certain services.

In Madrid, residents will have to pay €1 for each doctor’s prescription, a measure already enforced in Cataluña.  Madrid will also see water rates, property tax and parking meter prices increase, while Bilbao will pay 4.5 per cent more for funeral services and Barcelona 18 per cent more for water.

Despite the rising costs, civil servants’ salaries will remain the same, pensions will be recalculated between one and two per cent, and the minimum salary will rise by 0.6 per cent.

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