Royal Mail has scrapped a scheme which saw people on certain benefits able to buy stamps at reduced rates.

People on Pension Credit and Employability and Support Allowance were able to buy 1st and 2nd class stamps for Christmas 2012 at 2011 prices.

About five million people were eligible.

This softened the blow of the large April 2012 price rises, which saw 1st class leap from 46p to 60p and 2nd class from 36p to 50p. 

Royal Mail said: 'The price of a first-class letter stamp was unchanged at 60p for 2013 and a second-class letter stamp was unchanged at 50p.

'Therefore, we are not repeating the Christmas stamp scheme which ran last year.'