Royal Mail is now rolling its Christmas stamp scheme, offering people on low income the opportunity to buy stamps at last year’s prices for their festive mailing.
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The British national postal operator pledged to MPs earlier this year that it would offer such a scheme to help affordability issues following April’s significant hike in postage rates.
From 6 November, customers on pension, employment and incapacity benefits will be able to purchase a total of 36 First and Second Class stamps each at 2011 prices – 46p for First Class (compared to this year’s 60p rate) and 36p for Second Class (compared to the 53p 2012 rate).
Royal Mail started sending out letters yesterday to every home in the UK detailing how the system will work. The letters include vouchers that customers will need when claiming the 2011 stamp prices, but the vouchers will also be available from local Age UK offices around the country and Royal Mail’s website.
Customers seeking the lower rate Christmas stamps will also have to show a letter from the government’s Department for Work and Pensions proving their benefit entitlement. Alternatively they can show a Post Office Card Account statement listing one of the eligibility benefits.
Royal Mail said friend, relatives or carers can collect stamps on behalf of customers on benefits, as long as the relevant evidence is produced.
Stephen Agar, managing director consumer and network access at Royal Mail, said: “Royal Mail is pleased to be introducing this scheme to help our customers, who are on these benefits and facing extremely tight budgets this Christmas, purchase First and Second Class stamps.”