Postal rates are going up April 30 in the Isle of Man, and from May 1 on the Channel Island Guernsey.
Both postal services concerned said the moves to increase tariffs reflected increased costs they were facing in their operations, and increased tariffs from Royal Mail.
The Isle of Man Post Office said local letter rates will rise by a penny, with the new rate for standard domestic letters up to 100g rising to 38p.
Rates for UK-bound mail will increase 3p to 41p.
There will be no changes to rates for the ReDirect service for those moving home, and no change to KeepSafe service, which allows a hold to be placed on mail while recipients are away from home.
The Isle of Man Post Office said its rates for guaranteed next-day Special Delivery services will increase, while there will also be price changes for airmail letters, international packets and services like Recorded mail and PO box services. These services are run in partnership with Royal Mail, and therefore reflect changes in tariffs from the British postal operator, said the post office.
Meanwhile, the post office said that since it has so little demand for is slow surface mail services, which can take up to three months to make a delivery, they will be withdrawn at the end of April.
Geoff Corkish, the chairman of the Isle of Man Post Office, said price rises were “inevitable” given the current economic situation.
“We are unable to absorb the increase in costs from other partners which all accumulate to an effect on postal products and services for our customers,” he said.
Cornish said the post office had tried to keep its price rises to a minimum, and insisted they were still “one of the lowest in Europe”.
“Royal Mail is increasing its first class standard letter rate by 14p this year, and we are only increasing ours by 3p,” he said.
The Isle of Man Post Office chairman said to maintain the postal service and the island’s six-day delivery service, plugging the company’s revenue gap, it would have to broaden its customer base away from the island.
“Our counterparts in the Channel Islands have reduced their weekly delivery service from six to five days,” he said. “We pride ourselves on delivering a high standard of service to our customers and believe it’s important we continue to meet their expectations, we seek to avoid any service downgrades across the business,” he said.
In the Channel Islands, meanwhile, Guernsey Post is increasing its postal rates from the beginning of next month to also respond to its rising costs.
The Post said regulators had approved its proposals to increase local rates from 36p to 39p, and UK-bound delivery rates from 47p to 53p.
It said a big reason for increasing its tariffs was the loss of the Low Value Consignment Relief system as of this month, an exemption from British tax rules which allowed goods worth less than GBP15 to be shipped into the UK without payment of VAT. The end of the system is expected to see fewer distance sellers taking advantage of mailing items from Guernsey.
Boley Smillie, the Guernsey Post chief executive, said he was expecting the loss of LVCF to reduce profits by more than GBP 3.7m over the next 12 months.
By comparison, the postal rate increases would add only half a million a year in revenue at most.
“Whilst it is regrettable that we have to announce price increases, we do believe that they are justified considering the significant challenges facing our business,” said Smillie.
Elsewhere in the Channel Islands, Jersey Post has not yet announced price changes for 2012, but currently has local letters up to 100g priced at 37p, and UK-bound letters up to 100g priced at 50p.
Source: Post&Parcel/Isle of Man Post Office/Guernsey Post