By Daniel Hunter
As of today (Monday) the cost of a first-class stamp in the UK will be 60p, an increase of 14p, whilst a second-class stamp will cost 50p.
According to the Royal Mail the increase in prices was necessary in order to keep the six-day universal postal service.
"We know how hard it is for households and businesses when our economy is as tough as it is now. We have thought very carefully about the impact on our customers and our own business, before deciding to raise our prices," said a statement on the Royal Mail website.
"Ofcom has said our one-price-goes-anywhere, six-days-a-week Universal Service is at risk. Royal Mail made a loss of almost £1 billion over the last four financial years because we were unable to charge the price the service truly costs to deliver."
However, not everyone feels the increase in prices is fair, or thoughtful of the impact it will have.
The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) said the price rise was another blow to low-income older people.
The vast majority of pensioners still communicated with friends and family through letters, cards and the telephone - rather than email - and so they would be hit disproportionately, said Neil Duncan-Jordan, national officer for the NPC.
Royal Mail announced on 27 March that the cost of a host of postal services would rise on 30 April.
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