Unless you've been marooned on a desert island or living without any electronic means of communication, you cannot have failed to have heard that Royal Mail is to increase all its postage rates from Monday April 30th. You have today (and possibly Sunday in some shops) to buy up stamps to save yourself a bit of money.
This means that the cost of posting a first class letter under 100g will now rise to 60p (from 46p) and a second class 50p (from 36p). This is a rise of over 70% and is, we are told, a bid to save Royal Mail!
Parcels and large letters have risen too, but for parcels, this is slightly more complicated, as some of the lower scales of weight charges have been done away with - for example there are (until Monday) four levels of weight for packets up to 750g; up to 100g, 250g, 500g, 750g but, from Monday, there is at the lower end, only one scale - up to 750g.
Of course, if your parcel is only 125g you will pay £2.70 (First Class) or £2.20 (Second Class), but if your parcel is just under 750g then you will pay £2.70 (First) £2.20 (Second) which is cheaper than at present!
I have bought my Second Class stamps for Christmas cards as, if you buy stamps that just say 1st or 2nd on them, then you can carry on using them however much they rise in price. I know, of course, this won't help in future years and only really delays the inevitable!
As Christmas is the one time that even hardened email and text senders will use the postal system, I wonder how all this will affect the sale of Christmas cards and the sending of small gifts in the post?
I am determined this year that I will not be posting cards to people that I can walk to! This, of course always needs forward planning and I own up to rushing around in the car (using precious petrol) at the last minute, posting cards that I promised myself I would not use a stamp on!Ah well - I do try!