Royal Mail ups stamp prices

Stamp prices at Royal Mail are to go up from 1 January 2021. First Class stamps will go up by 9p to 85p and a Second Class stamp by 1p to 66p.

In a statement the postal operator said that the changes are necessary to “help ensure the sustainability of the one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service”.

The statement from Royal Mail reads:

“The Universal Service Obligation, which requires Royal Mail to be able to deliver to 31 million home and business addresses across the UK, comes with high fixed costs. During the coronavirus pandemic, letter volumes saw a 28% fall. The reduction in letter volumes has had a significant impact on the finances of the Universal Service which lost £180 million in the first half of the year. This demonstrates the need for change in the Universal Service.

We are working tirelessly to deliver the most comprehensive service we can in difficult circumstances as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact our operation. The health and safety of our colleagues and our customers remains our number one priority. This means we have faced significant, additional costs related to COVID-19 (£85 million for the first six months) such as protective equipment, elevated absences, overtime and agency staff as well as the impact of necessary social distancing measures.

Royal Mail has taken a decision not to call upon the Government’s furlough scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) throughout the pandemic.

Royal Mail’s stamp prices are among the best value in Europe compared to other postal operators. Royal Mail research shows that the European average price for 1st Class letters (0-100g) is £1.21.”

Nick Landon Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail said: “Like other companies, 2020 has been a challenging 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 deliver and sustain the Universal Service in challenging circumstances.”