30/04/2012

Royal Mail Defends Stamp Price Rise

As the new prices for postage stamps begins today Royal Mail has been defending the increase, saying the rate will still be the cheapest in Europe.

First class stamps rise from 46p to 60p, and second class from 36p to 50p, which still remains the bottom half of most prices in other European countries.

Describing the new prices as "incredible value for money", Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene said first class stamps were about half the cost of posting letters in France and Germany.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "Raising prices is never easy. It is not a decision we have taken lightly but regretfully we have had no choice but to do so. We have thought very carefully about the impact on our customers and on our own business.

"We need to secure the future of the universal service. Ofcom [the postal regulator] has said there is a real risk to the universal service. They also found price controls failed and there is a need for material increases to ensure its viability.

"Royal Mail has made a loss in its core mail business, including packets, of almost £1bn over the last four financial years. That is not a sustainable position for any business."

(H/GK)


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