BBC News website readers have been sending us their comments on the
Here is a selection of your comments on the diaries published on
Anthony says: "A tax of £2.50 in a £100 of expenditure is not going to discourage consumers from buying something they really want."
Really? So how come decreasing it from 17.5% to 15% was seen as a way of stimulating the economy? If it did, then increasing it will surely dampen the economy. As a SME (small or medium enterprise) business we will probably have to absorb this VAT increase in our end-user prices.
Gary, West Midlands
I think that the first measure should be to increase VAT to 20%. The previous reduction to 15% was a real waste of time and did not kick start anything major. An increase of 2.5% would put say £7.50 to £10.00 approximately on white goods which are not bought annually. However, I do not think that Alistair Darling has the guts to do this.
Julian Britstone, Manchester
What's all this nonsense about keeping rates low? The only ones to benefit are those with mortgages or other borrowings. If rates were higher, then savers would put money in banks, which in turn would have the wherewithal to lend.
Robert West, Cuves, France
I work in the oil industry and would like to disagree with the 74% tax being what Laura calls a "disgrace". I think it should be more. We need to encourage conservation very quickly, as we might not have enough to go around, which would be far more damaging.
Iain, Barcelona, Spain
I'd like to see well experienced and thought out opinions like these making their way into the government policy machine. If we started to get some sense out of the government this whole financial mess would get better much quicker.
This regular feature started off as a fascinating view of the financial services industry from the inside. Now it's turning into a second-rate opinion piece. If we wanted to know the opinions of bankers, we'd grant them unlimited access to taxpayers' money and allow them to dictate our economic policy. That, of course, would be an absurd idea. Less opinion, more insight, please!