The price of stamps will increase from January, with a first class stamp increasing by 9 cents to 85 cents and a second class by 1 cent to 66 cents, Royal Mail has announced.
The bosses said they have “considered price changes very carefully” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but said the increases were “necessary to ensure the sustainability of universal service.”
The new prices will start on January 1 and come just weeks after Royal Mail revealed that letter numbers fell 28% in the six months to September 27, compared to a year earlier.
Royal Mail said: “The reduction in the number of letters has had a significant impact on the finances of the universal service, which lost £ 180 million in the first half of the year.
“This shows that there is a need for change in universal service. We work tirelessly to provide the most comprehensive service we can in difficult circumstances as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact our business. “
To defend the price hikes, the company added that the Covid-19 pandemic had cost £ 85 million over the period for protective equipment, including absence, overtime and agency workers.
Nick Landon, Royal Mail’s chief commercial officer, said: “Like other companies, 2020 was a challenging year for Royal Mail.
“Our people have worked tirelessly to keep the UK connected during the pandemic and its constraints.
“These price increases will help us to continue to provide and maintain the Universal Service in difficult circumstances.”