The latest An Post price increase is necessary to ensure Ireland continues to have “the best post office network in Europe”.
This morning, the postal service announced an 8% price increase for its national next-day delivery stamps.
It takes the price of a stamp to €1.35 – just over 90% more expensive than it was just eight years ago.
An Post has said the increase is necessary as “persistent cost inflation across transport, fuel, energy and operations” impacts on its services.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, An Post CEO David McRedmond said the increase will let the service provide a “world-class network”.
“Look, no price increase is good but we are very carefully managing the core economics,” he said.
“The economics of postal - of letters - is that letters worldwide have declined by 50% over ten-year sand it is a fixed price network so prices do go up.
“Our price is still well below the European average for next-day service and all of our emphasis is making sure we have great infrastructure and great service.
“I am really proud; we have a really first-class network and that is what is important to us.”
Mr McRedmond said the UK decided not to hike prices to the same level in recent years and has been left with “strikes and a post office network that is falling apart”.
“I do make the contrast with the UK,” he said. “We have a great network and Irish people can be proud they have that.”
The An Post chief said he is working to ensure An Post remain next-day delivery for as long as possible – but admitted that in the longer-term Ireland may need to follow the rest of Europe two two-day or three-day services.
“That is something we have looked at but we are very reluctant to go there because we constantly research what people want and people really value that next-day service,” he said. “We want to keep that going for as long as possible.
“Will it be here in three years’ time? I don’t know. Will it be here in five years' time? I don’t know. Will it be here in ten years’ time? Probably not.”
Mr McRedmond said An Post will work to offer customers choice, with premium prices for next-day delivery and cheaper stamps for slower services.
He said all existing stamps marked ‘N’ (National) and ‘W’ (Worldwide) will remain valid regardless of the price they were purchased for.
The price increase will come into force on February – the same day Guinness owner Diageo is increasing the price of a pint.