FOLLOWING the announcement by Royal Mail that there will be a 20 per cent increase in First Class stamps, Angus MP Mike Weir has warned this will be detrimental to small businesses.
The increase comes as Ofcom suggest there should be no cap on prices for the vast majority of Royal Mail’s services, including business post, bulk mail, and large letters and parcels sent second class.
Mr Weir said: “This is a ludicrous increase at a time when small businesses are
under pressure from ever increasing costs and a lack of access to lending from the banks. The result of this inflation busting hike will price small businesses out of the first class market.
“Effectively, the USO will now be restricted to second class postage for small businesses. Ofcom and the UK Government have given no thought to the stresses on small business in agreeing to this increase. Far from being all in this together, small businesses have been thrown to the wolves.
“A further fear is that this increase could result in a downward spiral, with less people sending letters, and in turn leading to even higher prices.
“The situation could get worse, with Ofcom proposals to allow Royal Mail to charge whatever it wanted for first class services while the cost of second-class postage could rise by more than 50 per cent.
“Under their proposals Ofcom are to define the universal service as the current second class service, and even there the price is to rise substantially.
“The April increase may well be a sign of things to come, and we need action by the UK Government to protect our postal services.”