Smaller businesses think the changes to the postal system being introduced on August 21 will lead to an increase in costs, according to a survey of nearly 200 hundred firms carried out by the Forum of Private Business (FPB).

Currently, the cost of sending mail is based purely on the weight of the item being sent. When Pricing in Proportion (PIP) is introduced, the size, length and thickness of the item will all be taken into account when considering the cost of postage.

The FPB, which represents around 25,000 small and medium-sized UK businesses, has surveyed firms to discover what they think of the changes. The FPB's research analyst, Andy Mowlah, says: "It's rather ironic that this new system is designed in part to cut costs yet 60 per cent of respondents thought it would actually increase them."

The FPB said that 25 per cent of respondents said they thought there would be no change in their costs while only 14 per cent said costs would decrease.

Over a quarter of respondents said the cost of their post would increase by 15 per cent or more.

Mr Mowlah said the admin cost of the system would also be a burden: "Sixty per cent of respondents thought the new system would mean extra time spent in administration, while 50 per cent didn't realise they may have to purchase a new franking machine," he said.