Welcome to Surrey Tax Action group (STAG)
STAG wanted better local government – especially within Surrey County Council where spending spiralled out of control. This  coincided with a period of poor management resulting in Surrey’s residents suffering many years of above inflation council tax increases, and inexcusably poor road maintenance. We sought constructive positive dialogue with a simple objective: better business practice, improved financial controls and a better deal for resident taxpayers.


STAG is not linked to any particular party or group: we simply want better and less costly local government. We also want ‘accountability’ properly done. Our supporters include people with specialist knowledge of finance, business management and communications. Become a STAG supporter today – no subscriptions or donations, just your support – click on Support STAG to register.

Our efforts have influenced better performance from  Surrey CC. Highway maintenance is improving. For ‘accountability’ it is now  producing  Annual Reports up to that for 2015-16. But it needs to be delivered to engage voters. We the people who now have the universal franchise and with it voting responsibility need to know what is at stake. Wider government and former Secretary of State Eric Pickles in a personal letter made claims for newly defined data disclosures seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are not new in financial statements. And disclosure has to be seen not filed away. 

All this was pre-dated by  personal shock and disbelief at the unprofessional state of governance and voter engagement: Government doesn't practise much that it prescribes in law. The state of the public finances shows that it performs poorly at  large-scale procurement and commissioning, big-project planning skills, financial and general management and operations, and accountability. The Treasury is the 'weakest link': there hasn't been a  financial system as normally understood. The institution that is government is financially illiterate. There is no proper system of democratic discharge and renewal. The senior civil service as it is is not now the right apparatus for the interventionist government environment that we have been living in since WW2. Managerial prowess is required to lead us to economic success in a competitive world. 


STAG was a member of the TaxPayers Alliance since its inception until  November 2013 having failed to reach accord on the meaning of 'accountability' and 'better government'.


Latest News & Views From STAG

  • A TRIPLE WHAMMY FOR COUNCIL TAX PAYERS ! We pay once into local government pension schemes for the employers’ contributions. ! We pay again for back-funding the scheme deficits ! We are about to pay yet again to provide ...
    Posted 13 Nov 2016, 12:14 by Peter Webb
  • THOUGHTS AFTER BREXIT AND CHANGE OF PM AND CHANCELLOR The real referendum issue was the location of government HQ and the Constitution relative to Brussels. That has been settled subject to the unpicking and within international financial management. The ...
    Posted 2 Aug 2016, 21:39 by Peter Webb
  • With no scoreboard 'They' lost control of the public finances As I have been saying…........ http://www.adamsmith.org/news/uk-plc-britains-debt-time-bomb  This again is the picture, with an intuitive forecast (in 0 pages) reflecting trends ...
    Posted 23 Apr 2016, 06:31 by Peter Webb
  • Have we tax campaigners been 'missing a trick' ? Money spent cannot be unspent nor tax taken saved (unless reclaimable). Shouldn't we instead advocate revision of decision systems, big project management techniques (Operational Research) and methods so that ...
    Posted 12 Apr 2016, 04:09 by Peter Webb
  • Government Accounts (WGA) and forecasts  and see re Devolution of tax and spending below. Already very late it now looks as if they will not emerge until the summer due to a revaluation of Network ...
    Posted 12 Apr 2016, 04:01 by Peter Webb
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 72. View more »
 Taking 1997-98 as a base SCC gross spending has by 2007-08 more than doubled and by 2011-12 had reached 136%. This implies a rate of expanding productive activity and value enhancement at a similar rate. But Surrey is still Surrey. It’s land area is the same. It’s population is largely unchanged, and miles of road are constant. How can such a cost increase be supported or understood by resident taxpayers ?.
Now, at last, it has been admitted that "our costs were spriralling out of control". One County...One Team, February 2012. 

The council is insolvent due to the large past-service pension deficit.

Only now has the government started to produce proper consolidated accounts. Those for the fifth year to 31st March 2014 reveal the balance sheet bottom line at minus £1.8 trillion  “funded by future revenue” – our grandchildren’s burden on top of taxes to fund current spending in later years.


Why should taxpayers and UK plc, present and future,  have to ‘stand the racket’ for incontinent government ?