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Royal Mail raising rate of first class stamp to 85p

Expense will have more than doubled given that 2010 after boost on 1 January

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

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

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

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Royal Mail stated despite the increase, its stamp costs were “among the best value in Europe”. The business put much of the blame for the increase on the Covid-19 pandemic, which it stated had actually triggered a sharp fall in letter volumes.

This in turn has actually had a substantial influence on the finances of Royal Mail’s so-called universal service, which lost ₤ 180m in the very first half of the year. This needs the company to be able to provide to 31m houses and businesses across the UK.

Costs formerly increased on 23 March, when the cost of a top-notch stamp rose by 6p to 76p and the expense of second-class was climbed 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 national chair of the Federation of Small companies, stated when the cost of doing business was already rising across the board, “this latest rise in stamp expenses for letters and for parcels is just another cost that small companies will be forced to bring, affecting little firms that depend on Royal Mail as a major part of their company”.

He added: “Rate hikes like this only prevent small firms 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 stated: “We have actually thought about any prices modifications very thoroughly and in doing so have actually looked for to reduce any influence on our clients. These changes are essential to help guarantee the sustainability of the one-price-goes-anywhere universal service.”

The current increases come days after the postal regulator, Ofcom, contacted Royal Mail to “end up being more effective” so it might sustain the universal service and keep up with the altering requirements of the public.

Royal Mail did, nevertheless, move a step more detailed to scrapping Saturday letter deliveries after Ofcom research study discovered there would be no substantial influence on customers.

Ofcom, which estimates the relocation might save Royal Mail ₤ 225m a year, said cutting Saturday shipments would still permit the business to “fulfill the needs of nearly all people and organizations”.

The regulator acknowledged that the postal market had altered considerably in recent years, with the number of letters people send and receive falling by about 5% each year because 2015.

But it stated that while the pandemic had made 2020 a particularly tough year, “the problems dealing with the company due to the changing market and consumer behaviour were apparent before the pandemic begun to have an impact”.

The business pointed out that it had racked up considerable additional costs totalling ₤ 85m in six months as an outcome of the coronavirus crisis.

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