PENSIONERS are cutting the number of Christmas cards they send due to the price of stamps, according to campaigners for the elderly.
Many older people are saying that with the rising costs of other essentials, spending a large amount of money on sending cards was impossible.
In April the cost of a first class stamp jumped from 46p to 60p while second class stamps went from 36p to 50p.
Pensioners’ campaigner Bill Jupp, of Arlington Drive, Marston, Oxford, said he had heard from many older people who were struggling to afford the new prices.
He said that he and his wife might end up sending half as many cards this year because of the price hike.
The 81-year-old said: “We have decided to cut down this year and we are also putting lots of cards in one package when sending them to family members.
“The cost of post and stamps now is absolutely out of this world.
“It is going to be very, very noticeable this year – we are definitely going to have to cut back.
“We might have to wait and see who sends us cards and then only reply to those people.
“It sounds stingy but the cost is just so high.”
He added that usually he and his wife would send around 100 cards by second class post – which used to cost £36 but that cost would now rocket to £50 – so this year they have only sent around 50 cards.
Edith Parsons, 86, of Broadhead Place, Northway, Oxford, said: “The cost has certainly gone up. I can’t believe it’s £6 for a book of 12 second class stamps.
“Second class stamps are all I use anyway, first class are too expensive.
“I have a lot of relatives that I always send cards to. I sent 15 this morning and I have more to send.
“It’s really hitting me hard and I might have to cut down.”
Research by over-50s organisation Saga suggests that half of over 50s will send fewer cards this year due to the rise in stamp prices.
It also indicates that the price rise could hit the over- 75s particularly hard, with three in five reporting they are having to cut down.
The research was conducted online by polling firm Populus and used more than 10,000 responses. Dr Ros Altmann, director general of Saga, said: “We mustn’t forget how important a lifeline the postal system is for older people.
“It is easy to take instant communications for granted but many older people are reliant upon the postal system – particularly at Christmas – and value it highly.”
Tim Cowen, spokesman for the Royal Mail, said according to research conducted online by OnePoll which contacted 2,000 adults, the average person intends to send 19 Christmas cards this year, compared with 15 last year.
Royal Mail has a scheme in place to allow people on Pension Credit to buy up to 36 stamps this Christmas at 2011 prices.
HOW post prices have risen this year:
- First-class stamp: 46p up to 60p
- Second-class: 36p up to 50p
- Large letter up to 100g:
- First-class up from 75p to 90p
- Second-class, up from 58p to 69p
- First-class up to 750g, £1.58-£3.05, now £2.70
- Second-class up to 750g, was £1.33-£2.61, now £2.20
- First-class 100g franked letter, was 39p, now 44p
- Second-class 100g franked letter, was 28p, now 31p
Recorded signed for item
- Was 77p, now 95p