Royal Mail have announced their 2012 price rises, to take effect from 30 April 2012.
1st class letters rise from 46p to 60p
2nd class letters rise from 36p to 50p
1st class Large Letters up to 100g rise from 75p to 90p, while 2nd class rise from 58p to 69p;
the next step 101-250g rises from £1.09 to £1.20 1st and 92p to £1.10 2nd.
But a fundamental change comes in the restructuring of packet rates. Currently as low as £1.58 and £1.33 for 1st & 2nd class under 100g (which would include very light electronic items in crush-proof boxes) the 100g, 250g & 500g steps have now been merged into a 750g minimum rate of £2.70 1st and £2.20 2nd. The current 501-750g rate is thus reduced from £3.05 and £2.61, but all the other rates rise.
The recorded signed for premium rises from 77p to 95p. Thus a 1st class RSF letter becomes £1.55 (from £1.23) and 2nd class £1.45 (from £1.13).
Special Delivery 1pm next day rises from £5.45 to £5.90 including postage.
Standard Parcels up to 2kg rise from £4.41 to £5.30.
Post Office Box users suffer a massive increase for the third year running, up this year from £170 to £185, now plus VAT at 20% making £222.
International rates: Airmail
The worldwide postcard, and European 20g letter rates rise from 68p to 87p. The Worldwide 10g letter (previously 76p) also becomes 87p.
The Worldwide Letter 20g rate rises from £1.10 to £1.28.
Small packets up to 100g rise from £1.49 to £2.70 Europe, and from £2.07 to £3.30 Worldwide. This huge hike must be passed on to customers around the world who will see the costs of collecting rise.
Small Packets and Printer Papers over 100g change from 20g steps (to 300g, 100g steps thereafter) to steps for 101-150g, 151-200g and then 100g steps to 2kg. As an example of the new prices 300g is up from £2.61 (E) and £4.26 (W) to £3.62 (E) and either £5.54 or £5.70 for World rates which are now resplit into two Zones. Europe still includes all of the former USSR, right through to the Pacific, Zone 2 is Australasia, and Zone 1 is the rest of the world.
Surface Mail basic changes are 20g letters up from 66p to 77p, 100g small packets up from £1.12 to £2.20 (still cheaper than the airmail rates, but in future more expensive than current airmail rates.
International Signed For is up top from £4.95 to £5.15. Airsure rates are complicated by VAT so I'll look at them later.
A leaflet can be downloaded from Royal Mail's website.
Update: New Machin definitive stamps with values of 87p, £1.28 and £1.90 will be issued on 25 April 2012. According to Doug Mayall the colours will be "87p Orange; £1.28 Emerald green; £1.90 Rhododendron (Amethyst)"
I wonder if that 87p will be the same colour as the 9p that I am currently using with a 27p to make up the 2nd class rate?
We are awaiting any news of the previously announced and then cancelled 50p rust with one phosphor band, but have been told that instructions have been sent to branches to stop selling the current 50p grey (which has two phosphor bands of course).