Royal Mail to raise first-class stamp price

19th October 2011

Royal Mail could be allowed to set the price of first class stamps for the first time, prompting fears that the cost of sending a letter will rise sharply.

Ofcom, the new postal regulator, is proposing to let Royal Mail set its own prices for first-class post. The price of second-class stamps will still be regulated, to ensure that those on low incomes can afford to use the post, but there are fears that the changes will create an exaggerated two-tier service.

The cost of sending post first class is likely to increase as Royal Mail looks for more revenues to counteract collapsing mail volumes and rising costs.

Richard Lloyd, the executive director at Which?, said: “People feel that they don’t get a good deal for the service they are getting now. If the price of stamps is going to go up even more, consumers will be appalled. They will want the Government to step in to protect their universal service.”

Prices were previously increased by the RPI measure of inflation.

The changes will be outlined in a consultation document which Ofcom could publish as early as this week. Ofcom and Royal Mail declined to comment.

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