The price of a standard stamp is to increase by 15 cent next month, bringing the total cost of posting a standard letter in the country to €1.25.
It is the second price increase in less than a year, after it was raised by 10 cent to €1.10 at the end of May last year.
An Post said in a statement that the rise reflects sharp transport, fuel and energy cost inflation and the true cost of maintaining a nationwide postal service with steadily falling traditional letter volumes.
The price of a standard stamp has tripled in the last two decades, from 41 cent in 2002 to the new cost of €1.25 – a 205 per cent increase.
The change, which will come into effect on March 1st, will also see the price of sending a letter abroad rise by 20 cent to €2.20.
The price of a book of 10 stamps will remain unchanged at €11 until the end of the year, An Post said, representing a saving of 15 cent per stamp.
SMEs can also avail of the €1.10 stamp price through the An Post advantage card with an increased discount of 12 per cent on larger stamp packs and a 34 per cent discount on parcel postage until year-end.
Existing N (national) and W (worldwide) stamps will remain valid and fully usable after the new prices come into effect.
The utility’s community focus supports, such as free postage to and from nursing homes and free newspaper delivery for older customers, will be available indefinitely, An Post said, adding that “check-ins” by postal delivery staff on older, vulnerable or isolated customers are now a “standard part” of the service.
An Post said despite the latest price increase, the cost of stamps in Ireland is still "well below the current average European tariffs for high-quality letter delivery services".
The average price of a comparable national stamp across the principal EU14 (plus the UK) countries is now €1.58, while the comparable worldwide tariff is €2.27, it added.
At the end of May last year, An Post raised the price of a national stamp by 10 cent to €1.10, while the cost of an international stamp rose from €1.70 to €2. However, the increase was originally intended to come into effect in February 2020 but was deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“International air freight prices have increased by up to 360 per cent in the pandemic; transport cost inflation is running at 18 per cent and electricity, gas and fuel costs are up 27 per cent year on year,” the An Post statement said.
“The new postal tariffs will help ensure the continuity of next-day national letter services based on customers paying the same price for delivery of letters nationwide regardless of distance, as well as ongoing investment in letter services, staff and infrastructure.”
David McRedmond, chief executive of An Post, said the increases are essential to cover rising costs. “An Post is rebuilding the postal infrastructure for the future by developing new service and product choices to suit how we live now and how we will choose to live, work, communicate and connect in the future,” he said.