We had news today that Royal Mail proposes to publish details of increased postage rates in early March 2013. This suggest an increase this year in early April, less than 12 months since the previous (delayed) increase. We expect the implementation date will be 1st April.
There is, of course, no news yet on what the rates will be but as 30 days notice of any increase must be given, we would expect basic details to be available within the next two weeks.
A reminder from last year's consultation and Ofcom statements on rates:
"Ofcom proposes to put a price cap of between 45p and 55p [in 2012] on 2nd Class stamps for standard letters to protect vulnerable customers from significant price rises. The cap would be indexed in line with inflation."
1.23 The recent experience of postal regulation, however, has demonstrated all the weaknesses of price controls with none of the benefits. In a highly uncertain market, price controls have removed the flexibility that would allow Royal Mail to adjust to changes in demand, while at the same time Royal Mail has been unable to improve efficiency, either at the rate expected by the regulator when the price control was set, or at the rate set by its own internal targets at the time.
1.24 Furthermore, price controls on Royal Mail have served less and less to protect customers from price rises. Since 2006 Royal Mail's financial position has led it to apply to the regulator for price rises over and above those consistent with the regulatory formula.
New rates and new stamps now added here.