First class stamps to rise 6p to 76p

THE Royal Mail is increasing the cost of postage, with first-class stamps rising 6p to 76p and second-class up 4p to 65p.

Prices will climb from 23 March, less than a year after they were hiked to their current levels. The 65p second-class stamp is the maximum under an Ofcom price cap.

“These changes are necessary to help ensure the sustainability of the one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service,” Royal Mail said. It blamed the increases on “a challenging business environment”.

Stephen Agar, managing director of letters at Royal Mail said: “We are operating in a tough market at present, under the threat of making a loss by 2021. These price increases will help us maintain the quality of service that is expected by our customers,”

But the move has angered small businesses. “When the cost of doing business is already rising across the board, this latest rise in stamp costs for letters and for parcels is just another expense that small businesses will be forced to carry, affecting small firms that rely on Royal Mail as a major part of their business,” said Federation of Small Businesses national chair Mike Cherry.

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