The price of stamps is going up - here's how much you'll soon need to pay

The price of first and second class stamps will go up again next month, the Royal Mail has announced.

From 23 March 2020, the price of a first class stamp will be increased by 6p, to 76p. A second class stamp will see a price rise of 4p to 65p.

"These changes are necessary to help ensure the sustainability of the one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service," said the Royal Mail.

It blamed the increases on "a challenging business environment".

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    Why are prices going up?

    Stephen Agar, managing director of letters at Royal Mail said, “We are operating in a tough market at present, under the threat of making a loss by 2021. These price increases will help us maintain the quality of service that is expected by our customers, while supporting the universal service.#

    "As a result, we have considered any pricing changes very carefully and in doing so have sought to minimise any impact on our customers."

    The Royal Mail said it understands that many companies and households are finding it hard in the current economic environment.

    Drop in letter and card writing

    Last March, the price of a first class stamp increased by 3p to 70p and a second class stamp by 3p to 61p.

    The price rise comes amid a drop in letter and card writing in favour of electronic communication via social media, texts and apps.

    Last year, envelopes were removed from the virtual basket of goods and services used by the Office for National Statistics to calculate inflation.