The cost of a First class stamp is due to rise from 46p to 60p at the end of April 2012. A second Class stamp will cost 50p, a rise from 36p.
The announcement of the price rises came after the regulator Ofcom lifted some price controls on Royal Mail.
There is very little doubt that these increases, labelled in today’s media as being “disproportionate” will have a significant impact on small businesses.
Ian Murray, the shadow postal affairs minster, said he would write to Ofcom, the postal regulator, urging it to investigate the “shameless profiteering at the public’s expense” by Royal Mail.
Businesses that will bear the brunt of the price rise will want to stock up before the increase at the end of the month, but Royal Mail is rationing retailers purchase of stamps and according to the BBC has capped supplies this month to 20% of a retailers annual allocation.
David Powell, an Auditel consultant in Leeds was quoted in The Telegraph after buying 2000 First Class stamps and 1000 First Class Large Letter stamps, in effect 2 years worth of postage, saving himself £430.00.
Retailers have reported a five-fold rise in sales as people stock up on stamps at the lower price.
Martin Lewis, of Moneysavingexpert.com, said the rush for stamps was “completely unprecedented in my memory”.