Surprise! Royal Mail increases price of stamps
With Royal Mail shares still riding high- investors who got in on the privatisation and still hold shares are now sitting on a profit of around £600- the company is now looking to deliver (arf arf) on its promise of a healthy return to shareholders. By raising the price of stamps.
From 31 March, the price of a first-class stamp is to increase by 2p to 62p while a second-class stamp will go up 3p to 53p, Royal Mail has announced. On the same date, a large letter first-class stamp up to 100g will rise by 3p to 93p and a large letter second-class stamp will increase by 4p to 73p.
While consumers may be dismayed at the increase, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the increases were not as painful as those inflicted two years ago, when the cost of a first-class stamp jumped from 46p to 60p, leading to predictions the price of a first class stamp could reach as high as £1 before long.
Nevertheless, despite the increases, Royal Mail insisted its prices were "amongst the best value for money in Europe". But then they would say that, claiming the average across Germany, France, Spain and Italy (because there aren't any other, cheaper, countries in Europe at ALL) for first-class letters is 67p and 60p for second class. The company also reminded us how good we have it by informing us that it could have increased second-class stamps by 7p, instead of the 3p it chose to in order to fund its "high quality, six-day-a-week, one-price-goes-anywhere universal service."
Unsurprisingly, the Federation of Small Businesses is unimpressed, suggesting businesses might want to pass the cost on to their customers, but chief executive of the Greetings Card Association Sharon Little was not fazed, claiming the ‘minimal’ price increases would not affect her members. This is despite her claims that more greeting cards are sent in the UK than any other nation. This latest price increase will cost an average 64p extra per person per year just on greetings card postage.
Looks like those of us who aren’t Royal Mail shareholders will have to turn to jib jab to annoy our friends and relatives for free instead of forking out to send them a lovely card.