First Class stamp cost rises from 9 pence to 85 pence as Royal Mail blames pandemic
- Royal Mail has announced that the price of a first class stamp will increase from 9p to 85p
- But the price of second-class stamps will only increase by 1p to 66p from January.
- Huge increase blamed on Covid-19 and drop in letter count
Royal Mail announced an increase in the price of stamps to fight inflation, blaming Covid-19 and a drop in the number of letters.
A first-class stamp will increase from 9 pence to 85 pence – an increase of almost 12 percent – from January 1. However, the price of second class stamps will increase from just 1 pence to 66 pence.
Normally Royal Mail does not increase the price of stamps until the end of March, but bosses have said the first increases were “necessary to help ensure the sustainability” of the universal service.
Royal Mail has confirmed that a first class stamp will increase from 9p to 85p – an increase of almost 12 percent – from January 1. However, the price of second class stamps will only increase from 1p to 66p
The announcement came amid rumors that Saturday deliveries could be dropped to cut costs.
Royal Mail said letter volume dropped 28% in the six months to September 27 year on year and the pandemic cost it £ 85million in PPE, absences, overtime and staff the agency.
A spokesperson said: ‘The reduction in letter volumes has had a significant impact on the finances of the universal service which lost £ 180million in the first half of the year.
“It demonstrates the need to change universal service. We are working tirelessly to provide the most comprehensive service possible under difficult circumstances as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact our operations. “
Royal Mail said letter volume fell 28% in the six months to September 27 year-on-year and the pandemic cost it £ 85million in PPE, absences, overtime and agency staff.
Defending the price hikes, the company added that the Covid-19 pandemic had cost it £ 85million over the period in protective gear, covering absences, overtime and agency staff.
Nick Landon, Commercial Director of Royal Mail, said: “Like other companies, 2020 has been a difficult 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 provide and maintain universal service under difficult circumstances. “