herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Sending a letter set to cost 68c from Monday

THE PRICE of postage stamps will increase next week.

However, An Post said postal rates will continue to be among the cheapest in Europe.

On Monday, the cost of a standard domestic letter will increase from 60c to 68c and the standard international letter rates will increase from 90c to €1 for items up to 100g.

A spokeswoman for An Post said: "There is a price cap mechanism which has been agreed with the regulator and that is very much the way in which pricing is regulated across Europe."

An Post said the increase is necessary to stem unsustainable financial losses which totalled €55m last year.

"Unfortunately, volumes have fallen by about 30pc since the peak of 2007 which means that our universal service obligation is seriously loss-making," said the spokeswoman.

Despite the increase, An Post said its rates are still lower than 15 EU countries including Britain, France, Belgium and Italy, and below the EU domestic average of 71c per stamp.

The company said the significant fall in its business-related services, which accounts for 95pc of its operations, is a global phenomenon.

online

"Our bread and butter mail, financial documents, a lot of them are moving online and it has resulted in a very serious loss in terms of a collection and delivery service five days a week and delivery for a uniform tariff," said the spokeswoman.

Although An Post experienced a further 2.5pc decrease in the number of letters sent in 2013, mail generated by online shopping is on the up.

hnews@herald.ie

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