Price of first class stamp increases to 46p

4 April 2011

Royal Mail has increased the postage of first class stamps by 5p to 46p - the biggest recorded increase in one go ever.

Second class stamps have also increased by 4p to 36p, while large letters now cost 75p to send first class and 58p to send second class, jumping by 9p and 7p respectively.

The postal services regulator, Postcomm, gave permission for the increase in November last year. Royal Mail announced the proposed increases in December.

The regulator says that the increases will help fund Royal Mail's modernisation programme.

Royal Mail says that its prices are still among the lowest in Europe. A spokesperson adds:

"With the sharp declines in mail volume - a 20% fall in five years - our revenues are falling."

"That means if we don't generate more income, we will simply not be able to keep funding our six-days-a-week collection, sorting, transport and delivery operation to the UK's 28 million homes and businesses."

Royal Mail lost £16.3 million on stamped mail in the last financial year. This is equivalent to a 6.4p loss on average on every stamped item, which the price hikes should go towards covering."

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