Australia Post wants to stick 70c price on stamps

THE price of stamps could soon jump to 70 cents a piece, if a proposal from Australia Post is approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Australia Post on Friday wrote to the commission for permission to increase the basic postage rate from 60 to 70 cents from the end of March this year.

The move to up the price was foreshadowed earlier this month, and comes after a price increase on post offices box due to take effect this weekend.

The postal service is under increasing pressure from a fall in letter deliveries and a rise in packages that is helping erode its bottom line, and the proposal is the latest of a string of ideas to bolster its fiscal position.

It wrote the price increase was needed because the revenue from letters did not cover its costs, an even with a 10 cent rise, its losses on the letter services are forecast to reach $246 million next financial year.

The commission will assess the proposal, including submissions from the postal industry and government, before making a decision later in February.