Cost of postage stamps going up 10 cents

CONSUMERS could soon be paying an extra 10 cents for a stamp, after the competition regulator approved Australia Post's bid for a price rise on Thursday.

The postal service, facing serious financial difficulties due to falls in letter services, applied to increase the price of stamps to 70 cents earlier this year.

That price rise is part of a series of measures it is undertaking in an effort to recoup the rising costs of running the postal service.

On Thursday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission decided it would not object to the price rise, on the basis it would not recover "more than an efficient level of costs".

While the decision is not binding on the postal service, it was made to show the public whether or not the move was price-gouging, with the commission deciding it was not.

The postal service is under increasing pressure to deliver dividends to the government, with Treasurer Joe Hockey not ruling a privatisation of the service, and the Commission of Audit assessing its viability.

The last time the price of stamps rose in Australia was in June 2010, from 55 cents to 60 cents each.

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