Lawmaker Claims That A Proposed Hike In Stamp Prices Will Harm Lower Income Americans

( — If it gets approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, there will be a price increase on the popular US Postal Service’s Forever stamps. Already raised in January from 66 cents to 68 cents, the Forever stamps will go up to 73 cents starting on July 14. This would be the third price increase on postage since last July. Some have criticized the US Postal service for the increasingly frequent price hikes on postage.

When the Forever stamps were first released by the US Postal service on April 12, 2007, they were only 44 cents. This represents an increase of about 60% over the course of 17 years. While this may not seem like a lot on the basis of only one stamp, most people purchase stamps in books, which cost $13.60 right now. If the price increase goes forward, they would cost consumers a dollar more. Inflation costs often affect every aspect of life, and for many, each small increase can add up to a diminished quality of life overall.

New York Democratic Representative Ritchie Torres urged Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Tuesday to reconsider the price increase. Torres claims that the 8% increase will affect those who are already suffering under increasing inflation, in particular senior citizens who often live on fixed incomes. He claims that people who find themselves on the wrong side of “the digital divide” rely more heavily on traditional services like the Post Office and for them, stamps are not a luxury, but a necessity.

The Forever stamps will not be the only postage affected, as metered postage prices will also reflect the increases. The nonprofit advocacy group Keep Us Posted, claims that nearly half the world’s volume of mail passes through the USPS. The Postal Service also receives no tax dollars and is expected to fund itself. They are fighting against the USPS’s proposed plans to continue to raise postage costs twice per year. If the price hike goes forward in July, there may be another one right around the corner.

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