Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 08:38
Stamp Price Increase Acceptable
The coalition parties VVD and PvdA understand that the price of stamps must increase, but, at the same time, they warn that this cannot always be the solution to the financial problems at PostNL. "The rates should not rise indefinitely," said VVD MP Bart de Liefde. "I hope that this is not going to happen every year," said Labour (PvdA) MP Mei Li Vos. Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs wrote to the House on Wednesday that he made an agreement with PostNL about increasing the price of stamps up to 6 cents beginning July 1st. A slightly more expensive stamp will help solve the financial problems at PostNL. The company is still obliged to deliver mail six days a week. PostNL must also maintain branches and provide an extensive network of mailboxes. Because nowadays fewer mails are sent, all these services are no longer profitable. Measures are therefore required, according to Kamp. "We still do not have insight into the exact costs that PostNL makes for this universal postal service," Mei Li Vos says. “This service is a guarantee to the public that mail is delivered six days a week and that there will be sufficient mailboxes and post offices.” According to de Liefde, one can save money on this service by, for instance, not necessarily making it a 24-hour-delivery service. "You can think of a separate fee for post that can take 3 days to reach the destination.” Mei Li Vos sees an advantage for fewer mailboxes. "It's much more efficient to place mail boxes only at elderly homes and supermarkets." Before the summer, a draft bill will be discussed allowing PostNL to only deliver post for 5 days a week. That would be a huge savings but, according to Minister Henk Kamp, unfortunately not enough to prevent the increase in the price of stamps.