Stamp prices to rise in April 2010

The price of first and second class stamps will rise by 2p from 6 April 2010, says the Royal Mail, after receiving approval from postal regulator Postcomm.

The rise will take the price of a First and Second class stamp for standard letters to 41p and 32p respectively.

Postcomm began a consultation on the price changes proposed by Royal Mail and said in October that it had received 26 responses. It said that after considering those received, it had decided “it is still appropriate to make the changes” – applying to the period April 2010 to March 2011.

According to the post operator the price increase “reflects the continuing financial losses made by Royal Mail in collecting and delivering stamped mail” which it says was £250 million in 2008-09.

Alex Smith, Royal Mail’s Commercial and Strategy Director defended the decision: “Stamp prices remain affordable and represent excellent value for money – Royal Mail continues to offer consumers a more extensive, to-the-door, six days-a-week service than many European countries and does so at a lower price than most other operators.”

Royal Mail says that despite the price rise, the UK will continue to have some of the lowest prices in Europe – a fact which will be of little comfort to those who object to the increase.

Many customers will be surprised that Royal Mail needs to raise more revenue after only recently reporting a 4% rise in profits for the first half of 2009 compared to the same period a year earlier.

The fact that it is also the Royal Mail’s second price rise in a year is also a cause for contempt.

Unfortunately as there are few alternatives businesses have little choice but to accept the price rises.

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