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Martin Lewis, 48, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com has shared tips and tricks in his most recent newsletter, addressing the Royal Mail price hike that comes into force in January.
On January 1, Royal Mail is increasing the prices of both first and second class stamps.
The cost of a first class stamp is set to rise by nine pence to 85p and the second class stamp will rise by one pence to 66p on the same day.
This is the second increase of the year, and the biggest increase since 2012.
The MoneySavingExpert newsletter explained: “The increase is the biggest since 2012 and is also much higher than the rate of inflation, which is used to track annual price changes.
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“The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation was just 0.7 percent in October, according to the latest Office for National Statistics data.”
Stamp prices usually rise every March and this year was no different with a first class stamp rising by six pence and second class stamps rising by four pence.
Royal Mail said that the second price increase was “necessary to help ensure the sustainability” of the service.
The extra costs the company incurred during the pandemic like protective equipment and paying staff for overtime when others were off sick means that stamp prices have to rise for the second time.
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The company added that this year had been a “challenging year” and that the volume of letters posted has also fallen throughout the year.
The letter volume had fallen by 20 percent in the six months to September 27, compared with the year earlier.
Royal Mail also explained that the revenue from parcel deliveries had surpassed letters for the first time ever.
This is after people turned their shopping habits online after retailers were left closed for several months.
Royal Mail said: “We have considered any pricing changes very carefully and in doing so have sought to minimise any impact on our customers.
“These changes are necessary to help ensure the sustainability of the one-price-goes-anywhere universal service.”
However the MoneySavingExpert shared how you can beat the price hikes.
The newsletter explained: “It’s possible to beat the rises by stocking up on stamps at the cheaper rate before 1 January 2021.
“If you buy an ordinary first or second class stamp, they won’t have a monetary value printed on them, just ‘1st’ or ‘2nd’.
“This means if you buy these stamps now they’ll still be valid after prices have risen.”
Those wanting to buy stamps before the price increase can do so from various different shops.
A statement on the Royal Mail website reads: “Available individually, in books or in sheets if you need lots, stamps are the quickest and easiest way to send letters, cards and documents within the UK or abroad.
“Buy your stamps from any of our 11,500 Post Office branches and use them whenever and wherever you need them. Pop a stamp on your envelope and post when it suits you – in branch or in one of over 115,000 Royal Mail post boxes around the UK. It’s simple and convenient.”
They can also be picked up in supermarkets as well as off licenses.
To find out more and sign up to Martin Lewis’ weekly newsletter, visit www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip
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