Stamp prices are to go up for both first and second class options, the Royal Mail has announced.

The price of a first class stamp will rise by 10p to 95p on April 4.

The cost of a second class stamp will go up by 2p to 68p.

Royal Mail said prices had to go up as Brits are sending fewer letters, and because inflation is so highincreasing its running costs.

A statement said: “Royal Mail has considered these pricing changes very carefully in light of the long term structural decline in letter usage and rising inflation.

“Letter volumes have declined by more than 60% since their peak in 2004/5, and around 20% since the start of the pandemic.”

A first class stamp

A first class stamp will soon cost 95p

If stamp prices stayed the same it would mean the Royal Mail could not continue its ‘universal service’, it warned.

This is the promise that it costs the same price to send a letter to any address in the UK, six days a week.

Royal Mail chief commercial officer Nick Landon said: “We understand that many companies and households are finding it hard in the current economic environment, and we will always keep our prices as affordable as possible.

“Whilst the number of letters our postmen and women deliver has declined from around 20billion a year to around 7billion since 2004/5, the number of addresses they have to deliver to has grown by around 3.5million in the same period.

“We need to carefully balance our pricing against declining letter volumes and increasing costs of delivering to a growing number of addresses six days a week.”

The Royal Mail also defended its price hike decision by saying Brits pay less for their stamps than almost anywhere else in Europe.

The postal service said the average cost of sending a first class letter in Europe is £1.36.

However, the Royal Mail has u-turned on its plans to set a hard deadline for households to use up their old stamps.

Its original plan was to give Brits until January 31 next year to use up any existing Royal Mail stamps – including seasonal ones such as Christmas stamps.

The rising cost of stamps joins a host of other price hikes that will leave families £2,000 a year worse off

The average home will pay a record extra £ 693 in energy costs this year due to a rise in a price cap set by regulator Ofgem.