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Royal Mail increases first class stamps price by 10p to 95p from April

Royal Mail A book of first class postage stamps are seen in detail in Manchester, northern England, September 12, 2013.  Britain embarked on its largest privatisation in decades on Thursday as the government unveiled plans to sell the majority of the near 500-year-old state-owned Royal Mail postal service. The Department for Business said a stock market flotation would take place in coming weeks, giving the public a chance to buy into the postal network. Ten percent of the shares will be given to Royal Mail staff.REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)
Royal Mail has announced that stamp prices are to go up for both first and second class options. Photo:Phil Noble/Reuters

Royal Mail (RMG.L) is hiking stamp prices for both first and second class options in yet another blow to UK households feeling the cost of living squeeze.

From 4 April, the price of a 1st class stamp will increase by 10p to 95p and the price of a 2nd class stamp will increase by 2p to 68p.

Read more: Cost of groceries reach new highs as Ukraine war set to hike prices even further

Royal Mail said it is hiking the price of postage due to the decline in the number of people sending letters.

“We understand that many companies and households are finding it hard in the current economic environment, and we will always keep our prices as affordable as possible,” said Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail.

The number of letters sent have dropped 60% since 2005 and around 20% since the start of the pandemic.

“As customer needs change and we see a greater shift from letters to parcels, it is vital that the Universal Service adapts to stay relevant and sustainable. These prices changes are necessary to ensure we can continue to maintain and invest in the one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service for future generations.”

Under its Universal Service obligation, the postal service has to deliver letters to 31 million home and business addresses six days a week at one, universal price.

Read more: UK consumer confidence falls to 13-month low amid cost-of-living crisis

Royal Mail also blamed inflation for the hike as Britain’s hard-pressed households have been warned to expect a fresh squeeze on their living standards in the coming months after the annual inflation rate climbed for a 13th month to its highest point in almost 30 years.

Inflation is expected to rise from 5.5% in January to almost 8% in April when household energy bills will soar by hundreds of pounds.

Shop prices also climbed at their fastest rate in over a decade to reach 1.8% in February, according to new retail industry figures.

Watch: How does inflation affect interest rates?