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Last Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007, 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK
Inflation: Have Your Say
Cash

The Consumer Prices Index has risen to 3.1% in March missing its target by more than one per cent.

It now looks inevitable that the Bank of England will raise interest rates in May to bring inflation down.

And some mortgage lenders have responded by pulling their fixed rate deals in anticipation of a rise.

We asked for your comments, a selection of which are below.

This debate is now closed.


Inflation is out of control. However, increasing interest rates could be more harmful. The interest rate could reduce the transactions of the house trade, but it will not make house prices drop down too much. How many houses have been built in recent years? Does the population who need to rent/buy go up? Limited built houses and an inceasing population are the real source of increasing house prices.
Tony Jone, Birmingham

Real terms inflation is way higher than 3.1%. My local timber merchant has put prices up by about 12% since December 2006 and that is with trade discount. The things that CPI lists are not the things that define what I spend most of my time buying - the list should reflect real cost of living not extra extravagances.
Alec Boulton, London

The Bank of England should be given the additional weapon of a modern version of credit controls
Chris Grey, Guildford
Would anyone ask Tiger Woods to play a tournament with only one golf club? Clearly not, but Gordon Brown expects the Bank of England to fight inflation across the UK with only one crude weapon - the interest rate. A few more increases in base rate would cause real damage, especially to those who have borrowed heavily in the belief that inflation was under control. The Bank of England should be given the additional weapon of a modern version of credit controls. This would lessen the need for further harmful interest rate rises in the future.
Chris Grey, Guildford

I worry that unless serious action takes place, interest rates will be chasing inflation up to over 6%. The easy credit must end - and the banks and building societies have to play a part. Three years ago a popular building society refused to lend me 3.6 times my salary on a 25 year repayment, but the same one just offered me 5.5 times on interest only - naturally I declined, but will others be so cautious?
G Daniels, Crawley

Gordon Brown has truly made a mess of this country, yet people think he has done a great job. In fact he has done a great job to steer this country into one of the biggest housing crashes we are going to see. I have enough money to buy a property in London however I don't think the properties are worth the prices some people are asking, so I have made a decision to send my money abroad, then my skill will follow in a few years time. Britain has turned into the most expensive country to live while wages have failed to keep up with true inflation. As an economist I have made choices that best fit me and that's - take my pounds and retire somewhere else.
Luke, London

The credibility of the MPC has been dented by the revelations of former governor Eddie George a few weeks back. He said the MPC deliberately lowered interest rates in the full knowledge that this would lead to an unsustainable credit bubble. This was done instead of allowing the economy to have a natural recession to clear out the excesses of the previous boom.
Luminist, London

We need a 0.5% rise and we need it now!
Keith, Brighouse
The BOE are muppets. Only one meeting ago one member voted for a cut! Why are these clowns allowed in to the BoE? We need a 0.5% rise and we need it now!
Keith, Brighouse

Inflation is beginning to bite and the MPC must raise rates. The last time they lowered rates (Aug 2005) was to save the housing market which was headed downwards and in doing so suggested that they'll always bail out those who've over borrowed - hence creating another mini-boom. They are further inflating the bubble, causing misery to millions. Had they not intervened, we'd have had a far less painful crash than the one we're about to experience.
Chris, London

Thank heavens I'm not alone - I had wondered! Clearly you can't fool all the people all the time. Sentiment is key and it's make or break for the MPC next decision time. If they don't deal with it effectively (0.5% now, more later), then the markets will - reduced sterling will add too much fuel to the current inflation fire they are trying to hide.
Richard, Berkshire

Interest rates should be raised sharply - to at least 7%
Richard Heighton, UK
Inflation is not measured correctly. The effect of obscenely high - yet still rising - house prices has never been adequately taken into account. Since house prices appear out of control, it is fairly clear that a major part of real inflation is out of control. To correct the situation, interest rates should be raised sharply - to at least 7% - and held at a high level for a considerable time. Mr Brown claimed to have given the BoE (via the MPC) independence, but has retained indirect control by setting a rate which the MPC may not allow his measure of inflation to fall below.
Richard Heighton, UK

Provisional figures for December M4 money supply rose to 13.6 billion, The twelve month growth rate fell to 12.8% from 13.1%. Why do I feel my money is devaluing by 13% a year?
Edwin Bowman, Blackpool

Inflation is not dead but as long as it is stable and controlled it should not be a problem. The question I think is more important is: is inflation under control and the answer is no. In recent years there have been numerous changes to our economy that have driven costs down (cheap imports from China, supermarket dominance, low oil costs in the 90s and 00s, mass immigration). These drove down inflation but are not going to continue. The Bank of England is handicapped in the way it can combat inflation due the high levels of debt as necessary increases in interest rates would destabilise the economy (with a high level of mortgage defaults). Now tougher decisions are required, the Chancellor will be leaving his post.
Andrew Meynell, Barnesley

Inflation has been gathering pace as a result of years of lax lending and broad money growth
Rob, Isle of Wight
I find the sycophancy of the financial media to Brown and the MPC appalling. It has been obvious that inflation has been gathering pace as a result of years of lax lending and broad money growth. The only miracle will be if the UK survives the fall out!
Rob, Isle of Wight

It is quite clear that this time the Bank of England policy of a stitch in time has not worked. Prudence now requires that rates be raised by two stitches.
Peter Jones, Torquay

The coming crash in house prices will have huge political implications which people must be well-prepared for. Politics will polarise between extreme left and extreme right. In Britain we are likely to see a growth in support for socialist organisations as well as the left-fascist BNP. House prices play a similar role to the speculative bubble in share prices that occurred before the 1929 Wall Street Crash. Working class and middle class homeowners will not be very pleased to see houses bought with 200,000 mortgages falling by 75% in value to 50,000 or below.
John Smithee, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

The present state of affairs was completely predictable. M4 growth was 14% last year, is it any wonder that food prices, transport costs and utility bills are increasing? The only way this situation can be resolved is by tightening up personal lending - raising interest rates causes hardship for everyone including businesses. The amount of personal debt in the economy is sickening.
Richard, Manchester

It doesn't surprise me that people are choosing to rent over buying
Jemma, Leeds
My partner and I bought our first property last year just before the rates went up. The bank mortgage advisor said that he didn't think interest rates would go up as it would cause too many people to go into debt. As a result, we got a variable rate mortgage. Now we are looking at another 0.5 % raise! It doesn't surprise me that people are choosing to rent over buying, I would recommend it!
Jemma, Leeds

Blair, Brown, and now King have been running around telling everyone inflation is the result of high energy prices, and more recently the result of furniture sales and food. We need to teach basic economics in our school so our citizens will know that inflation is the creation of money (M4) over and above the requirements of GDP. The CPI is a government-fiddled statistic that they can raise or lower to suit the government's agenda at the time. The crash in the UK will be spectacular.
Joesph Pluto, Detroit, US

Inflation is measured using a basket of goods fetched by Gordon Brown's gimp. To bring inflation down we simply either send him to a different shop or give him a different shopping list.
John, Cambridge

Inflation is now out of control and the MPC does nothing except tinker at the edges with a few feeble rises of 0.25%. They resemble a bunch of terrified rabbits caught in a searchlight and paralysed into inactivity.
Peter Kiddle

The Bank of England has failed miserably to keep inflation near the target CPI level of 2.0%, but of course the powers that be want inflation to be as high as possible without causing civil unrest! Inflation is just another stealth tax that transfers wealth from savers to asset holders. If there is not a 0.5% raise in interest rates in May then what little credibility the Bank of England has as an independent body will vanish.
Ian, London

I feel the majority who borrowed too much and over spent for the last seven years or so, are being rewarded by the MPC who refuse to accept the real levels of inflation and will end up inflating away these people's debts, whilst sensible cash savers are having the value of their savings eroded away at the same time. It's about time the MPC got ahead of the curve and put rates up to at least 6%.
Paul Smith, Chelmsford

House price inflation is certainly affecting my financial situation - I'm currently paying off my landlord's mortgage rather than my own, as house prices have risen so high that my wife and I (both earning above average salaries) cannot afford to buy. I have no confidence that the current government has any desire to rectify this however. It seems the whole economy is based on house price inflation.
Matt O'Donnell, London

I want to see interest rates rise enough to bring CPI down to 2%
Dylan, Rossendale
I have chosen to save and rent instead of buying a house at today's lunatic prices. Therefore I have no debts. For years I have watched in dismay while the chancellor and MPC ignore one particularly damaging form of inflation (house price inflation). Finally the loose credit has spilled over into CPI inflation, and my response is: I want to see interest rates rise enough to bring CPI down to 2%. I see no reason why I should be punished for saving (through further inflation eroding my savings) in order to protect those who were reckless and took out excessive loans. Rates up now please, and more than a laughable 0.25%.
Dylan, Rossendale

Recent rises in costs that cannot readily be avoided like gas, council tax, rents and the cost of housing and petrol have increased many people's awareness that inflation is on the up. This finds its way into wage demands and thus spirals out of control. Targeting CPI seems too narrow a target for the MPC when the increase of costs outside the CPI basket of goods appears to be fuelling wage demands and thus the wage/price spiral.
Adam Potter, Stockton-on-Tees

Yes inflation is out of control and the method of measuring it is unrepresentative and subject to government manipulation in order to get the numbers they want. It will all end bust of course.
Jim, London

The Bank of England has failed miserably in its duty to control inflation
Matt Myers, Redhill, Surrey
The inflation figures published by the Bank of England are pure fiction. The CPI is misleading to the point of being fraudulent. What is the point of an inflation statistic that ignores the biggest expenses in our lives, most blatantly, house price inflation? House prices have trebled in some places in the last 10 years! The money supply is growing alarmingly but economic growth is around 2.6%. This must mean the real inflation rate is closer to 10%. The Bank of England has failed miserably in its duty to control inflation and reckless lending by the banks.
Matt Myers, Redhill, Surrey

I bought a house for the first time at 52. But since then the interest rates have gone up and up with no effect on inflation. Surely it's time to change the system. Why do home owners have to suffer? I am in danger of losing mine.
Mike Karlstedt, Highbridge

Another interest rise will take my monthly expenses to slightly more than I am earning. How long do the experts think interest rates will remain at 6%? Unfortunately I have a variable mortgage and could not get a fixed rate deal in time to avoid this rise.
Jenny Wright, Liverpool

I find the property market is behaving like an enormous pyramid scheme
Scott, Aberdeen
I think the general population needs a short sharp shock to reign in this lifestyle. A big increase in interest rates would stop this housing bubble reaching potentially devastating levels. I find the property market is behaving like an enormous pyramid scheme. People are running like sheep into property "because you can't lose investing in property". They are not considering the long-term picture - just taking out the absolute maximum mortgage multiple to "get into the market". It's exactly the same picture for credit cards, this government has been allowed to get away with this for far too long.
Scott, Aberdeen

None of your news programmes mention what has been happening in America since Alan Greenspan retired and interest rates have been allowed to float. The Americans live on credit and have had over 20 increases in interest rates in the last 12 months so they can no longer finance their credit nor sell or buy their homes. As always, it will happen here. It's just when I stand back and wait for the blast.
Richard Smith, Manningtree

This overshoot is driven by rising food and non-alcoholic beverages, furniture and petrol prices. So nothing to worry about then unless you need to eat or drive!
Ash, Kent

Inflation has been out of control for a long time. If the CPI included housing - most people's biggest single expenditure - then this would have been clear years ago.
Stephen Harrison, London

Raise interest rates and tighten lending
Albert Hall, Lancashire
Firstly, prices go up to meet the money supply, not the other way around. There is too much "liquidity" in the world due to the easy credit low interest rates provide. It is why the markets are reaching new highs, and why houses are too expensive. Raise interest rates and tighten lending. The economy is based on an asset bubble. We all know which one... Bring it on.
Albert Hall, Blackburn, Lancashire

Inflation is certainly out of control as the government/Bank of England are printing money like there is no tomorrow to give the illusion of growth in the UK economy. It's not real growth, simply consumption. Our economy is therefore in trouble. The UK trade deficit is growing - we need to start producing things again and reduce our consumption of foreign imports. All the people who haven't saved and have been on a credit fuelled spending binge (or have huge mortgages) will be hit hard come the rate rises later this year. I'm happy with the prospect of rate rises because I'm priced out of buying a home for my family and so have savings (for a deposit) and no mortgage. I will be better off. Many won't - and this will be New Labour's "no boom no bust" legacy.
Julian Hughes, Aylesbury

The likely result of putting interest rates up to more than 1% of current levels is a house price crash
Tom, Twickenham
When you compare the RPI to interest rates, the latter has historically (for the last 15 years) been 2.5% above the former. However, this relationship has broken down in the last three years. Unless interest rates are put up to 7% to restore this relationship then inflation will become hyper. The likely result of putting interest rates up to more than 1% of current levels is a house price crash.
Tom, Twickenham

Inflation needs to be brought down before a more serious situation results. The longer the delay, the worse the consequences. Inflation was tackled in the late 70s and early 80s by the Conservatives under Mrs Thatcher. It was an extremely painful time for many families. Today's economy has had a decade of "borrow to spend" activity which has resulted in astronomical debt levels; bad investment; and overpriced asset markets. We need a strong government to carry out the measures that can put us back on track for the next decade. Credit needs to be tightened; interest rates raised, an energy policy needs to be put in place urgently and public spending needs to be cut.
David Hargreaves, Bacup

Inflation has been out of control for a while now not just in the last month! Look at how much your basics have been going up for the last year! The fudged figures tell us inflation is 3.1% - don't make me laugh. Easy answer, raise interest rates, that's what they are they for, reduce the amount of M4 money figures, and put some lending regulations in place. Don't people realise that at some point debt has to be paid back? I can see rates hitting 6% by the year end as the inflation genie is well out of its bottle and has to be put back in - if not, Zimbabwe anyone?
Gary Phillips, Christchurch


The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.



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