AN INCREASE IN THE PRICE OF STAMPS WILL HIT LOW INCOME FAMILIES AND THE ELDERLY, AS WELL AS BUSINESSES

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Ian Murray MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs, commenting on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee report on stamp prices, said:

“There are real concerns that an increase in the price of stamps will hit low income families and those who rely on the postal service the most, such as the elderly, as well as businesses up and down the country.

“Whilst it is important to recognise the financial pressures that Royal Mail is under, any price increases must be implemented in a considered and measured way – a 53% hike in the price of second class stamps from 36p to a possible 55p will hit the least well off. As stamp prices go up, people will want assurances that the service provided by Royal Mail will continue to improve and does not deteriorate.

“We need to ensure that the deregulation of postal prices does not have a detrimental impact on consumers and businesses, which at the present time is the last thing they need.  Royal Mail must recognise the tough circumstances people are currently in and work with its customers to find a way forward. Royal Mail’s commitment that Christmas 2012 stamp prices will be held at their 2011 level for vulnerable consumers is to be welcomed.  However, as the Committee noted, Royal Mail’s policy is underdeveloped and we do need further clarity on who will be eligible and how this will be monitored.”