First Class Stamp To Cost 60p

The price of a first-class stamp in set to rise to 60p after the regulator lifted some price controls on Royal Mail.

Currently costing 46p the rise will come into effect from April 30, with a 2nd class stamp increasing from 36p to 50p.

The regulator has claimed the future of the Royal Mail was at "severe risk" without relaxing controls.

The new prices mark a record annual increases, with a 30% rise on first class and 39% rise for second class.

The price of 2nd class stamps is capped at 55p for the next seven years, but this cap could increase alongside inflation each year.

Royal Mail has said that the cost of posting Christmas cards in 2012 will be the same as last year for consumers on Pension Credit and Employment and Support Allowance or Incapacity Benefit.

Individuals who can provide evidence that they are in receipt of these benefits will be able to buy up to three books of 12 stamps - 36 stamps in total - in one purchase from any Post Office branch from 6 November until the last posting dates before Christmas.

"We know how hard it is for households and businesses when our economy is as tough as it is now. No-one likes to raise prices in the current economic climate but, regretfully, we have no option," said Moya Greene, chief executive of Royal Mail.

"Royal Mail provides one of the highest quality postal services in Europe for among the lowest prices for both consumers and business."

Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said: "Those people who baulk at the idea of stamp price rises should understand that it comes directly from government decisions to privatise this industry."


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