Postcomm, the postal services regulator for the UK, has announced today that the price of a second class stamp will increase to as much as 29p by 2010. The price of first class may increase to 37p.
The change in second class pricing, which had originally been capped at 26p, represents Postcomm allowing Royal Mail to increase prices on certain loss-making products. Nigel Stapleton, Postcomm chairman, said “Postcomm is giving Royal Mail all the help it can to tackle its deteriorating financial situation … We have always supported a successful transformation of Royal Mail and, more importantly, the continued health of a universal service that reflects customer need.”
Postcomm rejected requests from TNT and UK Mail to reduce RM charges for the ‘final mail’, where posties deliver mail that is sorted and distributed by other companies. Mr Stapleton commented “We would urge UK Mail, TNT and Royal Mail to try to reach an agreement on these commercially negotiated contracts rather than asking Postcomm to intervene if they believe changes are necessary.”
It’s good to see Postcomm taking these steps to put Royal Mail onto a more stable business footing; it would be nice to see unions and management now working together to drag the company into the twenty-first century.