The Royal Mail has said that it will have to raise prices for customers and cut costs amid the growing cost of living crisis.
After it was confirmed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) yesterday that UK inflation has now risen to 9% – which is the highest the figure has been for the last 40 years – with prices hiked across a broad range of everyday goods and services during April, the Royal Mail has issued a statement this morning warning that it sees “significant headwinds” from rising costs – including wages, energy, and fuel.
In an attempt to bolster its position, the postal and courier service revealed that it aimed to make cost savings of £350 million over the course of its current financial year.
Today’s statement on price rises comes after the group already notably hiked the cost of posting letters by an average of around 7%, and parcel prices by an average of about 4% – which took the cost of a first-class stamp to 95p, and a second-class stamp to 68p.
But the Royal Mail says it still sees numerous threats from rising costs ahead, and claimed that it is now at a “crossroads”.
“We need to deliver the benefits from change more quickly to deliver sustainable growth. We have made significant operational change already, but this needs to translate into real efficiency savings which deliver a financial benefit next year and beyond.
“Delivery of our existing agreements and the successful transition into the next agreements, as part of the current negotiations with the CWU, will be key to future profitable growth. We have made a substantial pay offer to our people which will enable the change we need to remain competitive, grow and secure their jobs for the future.
“Our market is changing quickly, and agility in our response is key.”
Speaking more on the need to raise prices and cut costs going forward, Simon Thompson – Chief Executive at the Royal Mail – added: “As we emerge from the pandemic, the need to accelerate the transformation of our business, particularly in delivery, has become more urgent.
“Our future is as a parcels business, so we need to adapt old ways of working designed for letters and do it much more quickly to a world increasingly dominated by parcels.”
He added: “Our focus now is to work at pace with our people and our trade unions to reinvent this British icon for the next generations, so that we can give our customers what they want, grow our business sustainably and deliver long-term job security for our great team.
This Manchester bar is selling PINTS of Bloody Mary and a slice for six quid
Whether it’s downing pints of water before bed, spending all day on the sofa asleep, or a big fat fry-up the morning after, everyone has a favourite hangover cure.
One of ours has to be the Bloody Mary, aka the best ever hair of the dog – a mixture of spicy tomato juice, vodka, lemon, hot sauce and, in a perfect world, something smoky with pickles.
So when we heard that Manchester rock bar Jimmy’s is selling PINTS of the stuff for just six pounds with a big fat slice of focaccia-like Detroit pizza included, we felt compelled to share the good news.
After all, party season is basically upon us – and that means struggling through more hangovers than we can typically endure.
The Ancoats boozer is currently home to Manchester’s original Detroit pizza heroes Corner Slice, a long time favourite in The Manc office from day one.
The team also has a pizza shop in Failsworth, but for the next month (well, until 23 December), they’re slinging their signature slices out of the kitchen at Jimmy’s to help you soak up the booze.
The deal, which is available every day, includes a pint of Bloody Mary and a square slice of their thick deep-pan Red Top pizza: a mixture of red sauce, Corner Slice’s signature cheese blend and basil pesto.
Available every day of the week, from open until the kitchen closes, you can opt to enjoy your pint of Bloody Mary and pizza in the bar or get it to take away if you’d rather curl up on the sofa with some grease and your favourite TV show.
The brainchild of owners Frank Brashaw and Danny Broadbent, Corner Slice has made a well-deserved name for itself in Manchester thanks to serving up deep pan pizza with traditional Italian toppings and a curly cheese crust.
The popular Failsworth-originated pizzeria was the first to bring its Motor city-inspired rectangular pizza pies to Manchester after what it said was a “light bulb” moment during lockdown.
As well as the simple ‘Red Top’, some of Corner Slice’s best-loved dishes include square pies loaded with the likes of Korean Cauli, Portocini (a mix of portobello and porcini), and a number of regularly-changing specials and vegan specials.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
FIFA allow rainbow flags and bucket hats in World Cup U-turn
In a surprising U-turn by FIFA, the international governing body has instructed Qatar to allow rainbow flags and bucket hats to be taken into their stadiums.
It remains unclear whether this reversal will extend to players wearing the armband, though it still seems unlikely at this stage.
Nevertheless, we’re happy to see the pride flags and rainbow colours signifying solidarity with the LGBTIA+ community making an appearance in the Middle East.
Wales were the first nation to get the rainbow colours on show ahead of their 2-0 defeat to Iran on Friday morning, installing pride corner flags with the team badge superimposed around their training camp.
The Dragons explained that, like other teams, they could not risk ignoring FIFA‘s ruling on the One Love armband through fear and lack of clarity over whatever the subsequent sanctions would be, but are now clearly trying to send a message where they can.
The German national team also made their feelings known in what has now become an iconic sporting photo, portraying how allies have been “silenced” by the Gulf state.
We can only hope England make the most of their opportunity to take a similar stand and show their support for the LGBTQIA+ community, women’s rights and the migrant workers who suffered to make this beyond questionable World Cup happen.
Although we should have been focusing on nothing other than football, the 2022 World Cup has been dominated by off-pitch controversies.
As well as Qatar‘s tough stance on alcohol — banning beer just 48 hours before the first game — the suppression of rights, media, freedom of expression and the human rights abuses committed against those who toiled to build the stadiums have all cast a shadow over the tournament.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate insisted that despite the travesty of the One Love armband decision, the team remain positive and “know what [they] stand for.
He also would not rule out sending a message in another way, reassuring reporters that despite having to accept the decision, “That’s not to say we won’t do anything moving forward if the timing’s right, but I think we are rushing to be seen to be doing something, we could make an error that doesn’t land well.”
Either way, at least fans now have a way of demonstrating their support by putting their rainbow flags and bucket hats on the world stage.
Once again, it’s not up for debate: football is a game for everyone.