The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will assess a proposal by Australia Post to increase the price of its ordinary letter services, including stamps.
Australia Post today provided the ACCC with its plan to increase the basic postage rate (BPR) from 60 cents to 70 cents from 31 March 2014. Increases are also proposed for other large letter services.
For consumers with an Australian Government concession card, Australia Post plans to freeze the price of a basic stamp at 60 cents until 2017.
Australia Post submits that it is seeking to increase prices because the revenue it earns from providing these letter services does not recover its costs. It claims that even with the 10 cent increase, its monopoly letter services are facing increasing losses, forecast to reach $246 million in 2014-15.
Australia Post attributes its losses to declining letter volumes and the cost of complying with community service standards.
“The ACCC’s role is to assess Australia Post's proposed price increases, taking into account how efficient Australia Post is in managing its costs and whether the forecast declines in mail volumes are reasonable,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“In reaching its view, the ACCC considers information provided by Australia Post and views of industry stakeholders and consumers.”
The last increase in the BPR was in June 2010 when it increased from 55 cents to 60 cents.
The ACCC is required to assess the proposed price increase in accordance with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act) and to decide whether it objects to the proposed price increase.
The Act requires the ACCC to make a decision within 21 days of receiving a formal pricing proposal. The ACCC must complete its assessment on Australia Post’s proposed price increases by 20 February 2014.
The ACCC welcomes submissions that could assist with its analysis of Australia Post’s proposal. Submissions should be provided to the ACCC by 10 February 2014.
Further information about Australia Post’s pricing proposal and how to make a submission to the ACCC is available at http://www.accc.gov.au/regulated-infrastructure/postal-services
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