Price of stamps hits OAPs’ Christmas post

Bicester Advertiser: Bill Jupp says the cost of stamps is making it difficult for pensioners to afford to send Christmas cards. Picture: OX56237 Richard Cave Buy this photo » Bill Jupp says the cost of stamps is making it difficult for pensioners to afford to send Christmas cards. Picture: OX56237 Richard Cave

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

Parcels
 

  • 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

Other
 

  • 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

Comments (8)

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11:58am Tue 18 Dec 12

snert says...

In all fairness, the fact that it costs 60p to send a letter from somewhere like Lands End to John O'Groats is pretty good value for money in my eyes.

Taking a pop at the postal service is easy but you get good value for money if you think about it.

The postal service is a service that is getting hit harder all the time with the like of electronic forms of communication nowadays.

I don't particularly like the price hike but when you consider what service you get for the pittance you spend on it then I don't think costs going from £36 to £50 is a big deal as it represents 25p a week over the course of a year.
In all fairness, the fact that it costs 60p to send a letter from somewhere like Lands End to John O'Groats is pretty good value for money in my eyes. Taking a pop at the postal service is easy but you get good value for money if you think about it. The postal service is a service that is getting hit harder all the time with the like of electronic forms of communication nowadays. I don't particularly like the price hike but when you consider what service you get for the pittance you spend on it then I don't think costs going from £36 to £50 is a big deal as it represents 25p a week over the course of a year. snert

1:02pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

If you're fit enough and able enough, why not hand-deliver the cards that you can?

Buses are free for pensioners, so it would be considerably cheaper to get on a bus and post it through a friends door - or pop in for a coffee whilst there!

Swap cards between friends for delivery and achieve a private GPO (Geriatric* Post Office) Post-bus-delivery service.


*Sorry, but it the word fits...
If you're fit enough and able enough, why not hand-deliver the cards that you can? Buses are free for pensioners, so it would be considerably cheaper to get on a bus and post it through a friends door - or pop in for a coffee whilst there! Swap cards between friends for delivery and achieve a private GPO (Geriatric* Post Office) Post-bus-delivery service. *Sorry, but it the word fits... Andrew:Oxford

1:19pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Oxonian says...

The comments from Snert and Andrew show little sympathy or understanding for pensioners or other people who are suffering from financial problems. Andrew even suggests that pensioners should deliver their own cards "if they are fit and able enough" but many pensioners are disabled. And he must be joking if he expects people to take buses to Birmingham or Newcastle to deliver their cards.

Stop sneering, Andrew - one day you may be old and even disabled.
The comments from Snert and Andrew show little sympathy or understanding for pensioners or other people who are suffering from financial problems. Andrew even suggests that pensioners should deliver their own cards "if they are fit and able enough" but many pensioners are disabled. And he must be joking if he expects people to take buses to Birmingham or Newcastle to deliver their cards. Stop sneering, Andrew - one day you may be old and even disabled. Oxonian

3:43pm Tue 18 Dec 12

snert says...

It's isn't that I'm not sympathetic, I just think that the price of a stamp is pretty good value for money for the service that you get.

Of course they have to raise prices. Their running costs have increased if the workers wages haven't. They're still entitled to make a profit and if the dwindling use of the postal system continues, more price rises will come. It's getting to a point where sending a parcel is actually cheaper to send via a courier now so they'll either have to provide a better service or start to compete for the business with more competitive prices.

I'm getting hit by ever increasing prices on everything. My wages haven't gone up in 5 years and even when they did the increase was a paltry one not worth bothering with.

I do work and I'm able bodied of which I'm thankful for that and I do understand that not all elderly or even working age people are as able bodied as me, but then I don't think those that are on the receiving end, excusing the oxymoron, of not receiving a card will be too offended as they're probably in the same boat and also can't afford to send them.

The younger generations don't send cards anyway as they tend to send an email or text.
It's isn't that I'm not sympathetic, I just think that the price of a stamp is pretty good value for money for the service that you get. Of course they have to raise prices. Their running costs have increased if the workers wages haven't. They're still entitled to make a profit and if the dwindling use of the postal system continues, more price rises will come. It's getting to a point where sending a parcel is actually cheaper to send via a courier now so they'll either have to provide a better service or start to compete for the business with more competitive prices. I'm getting hit by ever increasing prices on everything. My wages haven't gone up in 5 years and even when they did the increase was a paltry one not worth bothering with. I do work and I'm able bodied of which I'm thankful for that and I do understand that not all elderly or even working age people are as able bodied as me, but then I don't think those that are on the receiving end, excusing the oxymoron, of not receiving a card will be too offended as they're probably in the same boat and also can't afford to send them. The younger generations don't send cards anyway as they tend to send an email or text. snert

3:45pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Oxonian wrote:
The comments from Snert and Andrew show little sympathy or understanding for pensioners or other people who are suffering from financial problems. Andrew even suggests that pensioners should deliver their own cards "if they are fit and able enough" but many pensioners are disabled. And he must be joking if he expects people to take buses to Birmingham or Newcastle to deliver their cards.

Stop sneering, Andrew - one day you may be old and even disabled.
You may be surprised to learn that the majority of people don't immediately lose their faculties or mobility the moment they hit 65. Likewise many over 65s are far wealthier than I'll ever be.

Consider underlying messages before you retort in anger on behalf of somebody else...

It costs the country more than £0.60 for each "free" return bus trip...
[quote][p][bold]Oxonian[/bold] wrote: The comments from Snert and Andrew show little sympathy or understanding for pensioners or other people who are suffering from financial problems. Andrew even suggests that pensioners should deliver their own cards "if they are fit and able enough" but many pensioners are disabled. And he must be joking if he expects people to take buses to Birmingham or Newcastle to deliver their cards. Stop sneering, Andrew - one day you may be old and even disabled.[/p][/quote]You may be surprised to learn that the majority of people don't immediately lose their faculties or mobility the moment they hit 65. Likewise many over 65s are far wealthier than I'll ever be. Consider underlying messages before you retort in anger on behalf of somebody else... It costs the country more than £0.60 for each "free" return bus trip... Andrew:Oxford

5:57pm Tue 18 Dec 12

xjohnx says...

I don't understand why pensioners are being singled out especialy in this case.

Its not as though there is a special price rise applied to pensioners only.

We are all having troubles with rising prices. Surely to single out pensioners is unfair and patronising.
I don't understand why pensioners are being singled out especialy in this case. Its not as though there is a special price rise applied to pensioners only. We are all having troubles with rising prices. Surely to single out pensioners is unfair and patronising. xjohnx

11:07pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Oxonian says...

Andrew says: "Consider underlying messages before you retort in anger on behalf of somebody else..."

I am not just retorting on behalf of pensioners and the disabled. I am a 76-year-old disabled person myself and have an idea of what many older and disabled people have to endure - and how their mobility is liimited. Andrew assumed that it would be easy for people to hand-deliver Christmas cards but increasing numbers of people are unable to get around as easily as Andrew presumably can.
Andrew says: "Consider underlying messages before you retort in anger on behalf of somebody else..." I am not just retorting on behalf of pensioners and the disabled. I am a 76-year-old disabled person myself and have an idea of what many older and disabled people have to endure - and how their mobility is liimited. Andrew assumed that it would be easy for people to hand-deliver Christmas cards but increasing numbers of people are unable to get around as easily as Andrew presumably can. Oxonian

1:12pm Wed 19 Dec 12

parvinder msvarency says...

Is this just a politically motivated story re-told in all local papers by the Government to pave the way and get support in their bid to rid us of the Royal Mail and get in the big boys to take over. As Andrew pointed out 60p to get a letter delivered to a remote island, or even a cottage 5 miles from the nearest road is a bargain. Just wait till all the moaners have their way and UPS, TNT, DHL or whoever buys it up. Do you really think that your 60p will get you that far then?
Is this just a politically motivated story re-told in all local papers by the Government to pave the way and get support in their bid to rid us of the Royal Mail and get in the big boys to take over. As Andrew pointed out 60p to get a letter delivered to a remote island, or even a cottage 5 miles from the nearest road is a bargain. Just wait till all the moaners have their way and UPS, TNT, DHL or whoever buys it up. Do you really think that your 60p will get you that far then? parvinder msvarency

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