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Postal rates in Bahrain increase by 300 per cent

Expatriates living in Bahrain have found the cost of sending letters and parcels has increased by 300 per cent in the latest round of rises.

It is an inconvenience for residents, but presents an even greater problem for businesses that cannot avoid sending items through the post.

Some publishing houses have been so adversely affected by the changes that they have been forced to relocate to a different country, the Gulf Daily News reports.

Many expats are having to cut down on the number of letters and parcels they send home, with others having to cut out the practice all together, as it is simply too expensive.

Angela Marquis, a volunteer at Sacred Heart Church and the Ecumenical Conference of Charity, told the news provider: "I know of an Indian family who have said they can no longer afford to send parcels of goods, like household items, food and clothing back home to their families.

"Some are resorting to sending them by cargo, which is still very costly for them."

The new rates have increased the price of sending items both locally and internationally, putting postal services beyond the reach of the poorest expats in Bahrain.

Most expats will understand the importance of being able to maintain this link with home, as it makes the world seem smaller.

Since the increase, expats have shown their displeasure, with businesses also raising concerns about its implications.

One area that is finding it a large problem is banking, as these institutions need to send out account information, cards and passwords to their customers.

It now costs 12 Bahraini dinar (£19) to send a two kilogram parcel abroad; 36 dinar for a ten kilogram parcel; and 66 dinar for 20 kilograms.

The new charges came into force in December and only time will tell if the postal service backs down over the opposition from businesses and residents.

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