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Royal Mail raising price of very first class stamp to 85p

Cost will have more than doubled considering that 2010 after increase on 1 January

Royal Mail is raising the price of a first-class stamp by an inflation-busting 9p to 85p.

That implies costs will have jumped by 21% because March. As a result, a superior stamp will cost more than double what it carried out in 2010.

The increase will work on 1 January, when the cost of a second-class stamp will increase by 1p to 66p. Rates for parcels, signed-for letters and other items will also go up.

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Royal Mail said regardless of the rise, its stamp rates were “amongst the best worth in Europe”. The business put much of the blame for the increase on the Covid-19 pandemic, which it said had set off a sharp fall in letter volumes.

This in turn has had a significant influence on the finances of Royal Mail’s so-called universal service, which lost ₤ 180m in the first half of the year. This needs the company to be able to provide to 31m homes and companies throughout the UK.

Costs previously increased on 23 March, when the expense of a top-notch stamp rose by 6p to 76p and the cost of second-class was climbed up by 4p to 65p.

In 2010, initially- and second-class stamps cost 41p and 32p respectively. In 2000, it was 27p and 19p.

Mike Cherry, the nationwide chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said when the cost of doing business was currently increasing throughout the board, “this most current rise in stamp costs for letters and for parcels is just another expense that small businesses will be required to carry, impacting little companies that rely on Royal Mail as a major part of their organization”.

He added: “Rate walkings like this only avoid small companies from being able to grow and succeed, and we ought to be doing all we can to support this and not hinder it.”

However, Royal Mail said: “We have actually considered any pricing changes very carefully and in doing so have looked for to reduce any effect on our customers. These changes are required to help make sure the sustainability of the one-price-goes-anywhere universal service.”

The latest boosts come days after the postal regulator, Ofcom, called on Royal Mail to “end up being more effective” so it could sustain the universal service and stay up to date with the changing requirements of the general public.

Royal Mail did, however, move an action more detailed to ditching Saturday letter deliveries after Ofcom research study discovered there would be no significant influence on consumers.

Ofcom, which estimates the move could conserve Royal Mail ₤ 225m a year, said cutting Saturday shipments would still allow the business to “satisfy the needs of almost all individuals and companies”.

The regulator acknowledged that the postal market had altered dramatically in the last few years, with the variety of letters individuals send out and get falling by about 5% each year considering that 2015.

However it stated that while the pandemic had made 2020 an especially difficult year, “the issues dealing with the business due to the altering market and consumer behaviour were apparent prior to the pandemic started to have an effect”.

The business pointed out that it had racked up considerable extra expenses amounting to ₤ 85m in 6 months as an outcome of the coronavirus crisis.

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