A first class stamp will now cost 60p instead of 46p, as the Royal Mail’s stamp price increase comes into force today.
The cost of second class stamps is also up 14p to 50p, that’s for letters weighing up to 100g, while 1st and 2nd class packets weighing up to 750g now cost £2.70 and £2.30 respectively.
Consumers have been busy stockpiling stamps in recent weeks to avoid the higher costs, which Royal Mail has defended as a necessary move in order to maintain its six-days-a-week universal service.
Price of stamps doubles since 2000
In the year 2000, a first class stamp would have cost you 27p and a second class stamp just 19p, meaning that both have more than doubled in the twelve years since.
The Royal Mail has made a loss of almost £1bn over the last four years and suggested that its current pricing model was unsustainable if it were to continue delivering its current service.
The company described its quality of service as ‘very high’, noting that its ‘targets of 93% of 1st Class items delivered next working day and 98% of 2nd Class items delivered within three working days of posting, are the highest for any major European country.’
Low-income houses offered Christmas saving
The Royal Mail said that the new prices reflect the increase in fuel costs and claimed that its service remains among the best in Europe.
There is some relief for low income households as the Royal Mail will keep the price of stamps for letters this Christmas at the same price as last year.
Households on pension credit, employment and support allowance or incapacity benefit, will be eligible and entitled to buy up to three books of 12 stamps in one purchase from any Post Office between 6 November the last posting dates before Christmas this year.