Royal Mail Accused Of Profiteering By Rationing Stamps

Retailers have reported a shortage of postage stamps as people are stocking up ahead on incoming price rise.

This follows Royal Mail enforcing a cap on the number of stamps that shops can buy before price rises come into force later this month, leading to accusations of profiteering.

However the postal service has said it has limited shops supplies so that they do not profit at Royal Mail’s expense ahead of the price hike on April 30.

Royal Mail spokesman James Eadie said: "This is a prudent and appropriate policy. Our priority is to ensure that the proceeds from this much needed price rise go to sustain the six-day-a-week service, which has been loss making for some time.

"We have put arrangements in place with all our major retailers to ensure that they have adequate stocks of stamps to meet customer demand."

Denying that retailers have been forced to ration stocks he said: "There is no shortage of stamps. Therefore, by definition, there is no rationing. Companies only ration if there is a genuine shortage, which there is not."

The Daily Telegraph however reported that retailers have seen a fivefold rise in sales as people stocked up on stamps at the cheaper price.

The paper said that Ocado, the online supermarket, ran out of stamps entirely earlier this month, while Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons had seen a sharp rise in demand.

Ian Murray, the shadow postal affairs minster, told the paper he would write to Ofcom, the postal regulator, urging it to investigate the "shameless profiteering at the public's expense" by Royal Mail.

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