Royal Mail slammed for ‘outrageous’ price rise as First Class stamp costs soar to £1.25

First Class stamp book and Second Class stamp book in pictures

First Class stamp prices have risen by 14 per cent

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 02/10/2023

- 09:28

Updated: 02/10/2023

- 09:46

Members of the public have shared their shock at how much a First Class stamp now costs

Outraged Britons have expressed their outrage as the price of a First Class stamp has increased by 14 per cent to £1.25 from today.

It’s the third increase in 18 months, with Royal Mail blaming the rise on increasing cost pressures, the challenging economic environment, and the “lack of reform of the Universal Service Obligation (USO) amid significant decline in letter volumes".

Letter volumes were at 20 billion in 2004/05, falling to seven billion a year in 2022/23. In the same period, the number of addresses has risen by four million.

The rise means a First Class stamp costs 47 per cent more than it did in March last year.

Second class stamps on envelopes being posted into Royal Mail post box

The price of Second Class stamps remains at 75 pence


Members of the public took to social media to discuss the new cost of a stamp, with one claiming Royal Mail was “pricing themselves out the market”.

They wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Just heard price of First Class stamp up by 15p! Just in time for Christmas. Another step to the end of personal letter and card writing! Pricing themselves out of market!!”(sic)

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Another penned: “Oh my gosh £1.25 for a single first class stamp? I thought it was still around 60p. That’s outrageous! #stamps #postoffice.”

A third commented: “Didn’t realise how out of touch I am! A first class stamp now costs £1.25!!! I’d have thought it was about half that.”

Another outraged social media user remarked: “£1.25 for a First Class stamp. That’s the national scandal of our time.”

Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail said: “We understand the economic challenges that many of our customers are currently facing and have considered the price changes very carefully in light of the significant decline in letter volumes.

“Letter volumes have reduced dramatically over recent years, down more than 60 per cent from their peak in 2004/5 and 30 per cent since the pandemic.

“It is vital that the Universal Service adapts to reflect this new reality.”

The price of Second Class stamps remains at 75 pence.
New First Class stamp with King Charles on front

The new First Class stamps featuring King Charles have been available since April this year


Royal Mail introduced barcoded stamps in February 2022, and regular stamps without a barcode are no longer valid for postage.

This does not include non-barcoded Christmas stamps and Special stamps, which continue to be valid for postage.

Those which aren't valid will now need to be exchanged for new barcoded versions through Royal Mail's Stamp Swap Out scheme.

People can pick up a Swap Out form and free post envelope from their local Post Office but the Post Office can't swap stamps for barcoded ones.

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