Price of first class stamps to rise by 9p to 85p

From 1 January, 2021 the price of a 1st Class stamp will increase by 9p to 85p and the price of a 2nd Class stamp will increase by 1p to 66p. The Royal Mail says that these changes are necessary to help ensure the sustainability of the one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service. Prices were raised to their current levels in March. Royal Mail said the latest move was “necessary to help ensure the sustainability” of the universal service.

During the coronavirus pandemic, letter volumes saw a 28% fall. The reduction in letter volumes has had a significant impact on the finances of the Universal Service which lost £180 million in the first half of the year.

In a statement, the Royal Mail said, “The health and safety of our colleagues and our customers remains our number one priority. This means we have faced significant, additional costs related to COVID-19 (£85 million for the first six months) such as protective equipment, elevated absences, overtime and agency staff as well as the impact of necessary social distancing measures.”

In a statement, the Royal Mail said, “The health and safety of our colleagues and our customers remains our number one priority. This means we have faced significant, additional costs related to COVID-19 (£85 million for the first six months) such as protective equipment, elevated absences, overtime and agency staff as well as the impact of necessary social distancing measures.”

Royal Mail did not rely on the Government’s furlough scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) throughout the pandemic. Royal Mail’s stamp prices are among the best value in Europe compared to other postal operators. Royal Mail research shows that the European average price for 1st Class letters (0-100g) is £1.21.

Nick Landon Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail said: “Like other companies, 2020 has been a challenging year for Royal Mail. Our people have worked tirelessly to keep the UK connected throughout the pandemic and associated restrictions. These price increases will help us continue to deliver and sustain the Universal Service in challenging circumstances.”

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