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Thursday, January 14, 1999 Published at 17:12 GMT


Second class stamps down

The Royal Mail is to cut the price of a second class stamp by a penny to 19p.

First class post remains unchanged at 26p.

The cut on 26 April will follow a 33-month price freeze on domestic postage prices - the longest period of stable post prices for more than 40 years.

The Royal Mail said the cut will benefit millions of customers because around two out of every three letters go second class.

It has also pledged to continue freezing prices on both classes of mail for letters and packages weighing more than the standard 60g but no more than 100g.

This will cover more than 90% of letters and packets in the average daily postbag.

Stamp of approval

Royal Mail said the changes were part of an overall restructuring of prices to which reflect the actual costs incurred by the company.

Post Office chief executive John Roberts added: "Our prime aim is to meet our customers' needs for improved value for money services. This is essential as we move to more liberalised markets and face increasing competition.

"In real terms Royal Mail prices have already decreased, over the last 15 years. The cost of a first class letter has fallen by 15% compared with the retail price index."

But the Royal Mail has warned if mail volumes do not continue to grow strongly and are hit by any slowing down of the economy, there will be a revision of the prices.

The cost of posting mail to all European destinations will remain unchanged, 30p for letters up to 20g. There will be 1p increases on airmail letters.

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