Royal Mail has announced that the price for first and second class stamps are increasing to ensure they can maintain their service.
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Inflation, again, is causing the cost of stamps to rise.
The first class stamp cost will rise by 10p and will cost 95p from 5 April 2022.
Second class stamps will also increase in cost. A 2nd Class stamp will rise 2p to 68p.
There has been a continuing decline in the use of stamps.
Royal Mail has seen a 60% decline in letter volumes since their peak in 2004/2005.
It went down by 20% since the start of the pandemic.
They believe the price hikes are broadly in line with inflation and ensure the service remains sustainable.
Compared to Europe, Royal Mail research shows that a 1st Class letter up to 100g costs £1.36, so they believe they offer the best value in Europe.
However, it still seems a lot of people are using stamps on a fairly regular basis, which is going to hit budgets.
Some people might stop sending so much mail when the cost of a stamp is nearly the same as buying a card in the first place.
Alternatively, they may use more e-cards.
Stamp prices over time
The price of stamps has increased a lot over the last 10 years.
In 2002, a first class stamp was 27p, another 10 years later it was 60p in 2012 and now we’ll need to pay 95p to post a letter.
Price hikes each year were very low until they started to increase more sharply from 2018 onwards.
Let’s not think about 30 years ago when the price of a first Class stamp was 24p in 1992!
Old stamps expiring
You need to remember that if you have been holding onto old stamps to beat the rise of stamps, they will not be valid for that much longer.
Royal Mail is phasing out the old non-barcoded stamps at the start of 2023, and they will no longer hold any value.
So, it’s worthwhile using them up or buying barcoded stamps at the lower price before the price hike sets in.
Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail, commented that they want to keep prices as affordable as possible.
“Whilst the number of letters our postmen and women deliver has declined from around 20 billion a year to around 7 billion since 2004/5, the number of addresses they have to deliver to has grown by around 3.5 million in the same period. We need to carefully balance our pricing against declining letter volumes and increasing costs of delivering to a growing number of addresses six days a week.
“As customer needs change and we see a greater shift from letters to parcels, it is vital that the Universal Service adapts to stay relevant and sustainable. These prices changes are necessary to ensure we can continue to maintain and invest in the one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service for future generations.”