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Friday, 19 January, 2001, 07:42 GMT
Price 'freeze' on stamps
The UK Post Office has changed its corporate name to Consignia
A government watchdog is to impose a price freeze at Consignia, the newly-named Post Office, according to a newspaper report.

The two-year price freeze is expected to come into force on 26 March and and will cover all services offered by Consignia that don't face any competition, the report in the Financial Times said.

This will include first and second class mail.

While good news for letter writers, it could deal a blow to the loss-making Consignia, as it will affect about 80% of its revenue.

Consignia last raised prices in April last year, when the price of a first class stamp rose by one penny to 27 pence. Second class stamps still cost 19 pence.

Changing names

The report comes at a time of change at the Post Office.

The government has appointed a watchdog, the Postal Services Commission.

On 26 March, the Post Office will be turned into a state-owned limited company, giving its management more control over key commercial decisions.

This change will allow the company to borrow money which it can then invest. Until now, the organisation needed government approval for most of its business activities.

Earlier this month, the UK Post Office changed its corporate name to Consignia, in an attempt to reflect its more commercial and international approach to business.

Post Office branches and uniforms, and brands like Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide will be unaffected by the changes, though.

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09 Jan 01 | Business
UK Post Office name change
22 Dec 00 | Business
Price cut 'threatens post offices'
22 Dec 00 | UK
Letter monopoly could end
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