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

  • Public Accounts Committee former Chair helps state the problem Public Accounts Committee former Chair Rt. Hon. Dame Margaret Hodge’s new book Called to Account draws conclusions from her razor-sharp and fearless examinations of government workings. Taken together ...
    Posted 16 Apr 2017, 03:41 by Peter Webb
  • As Budget Day on 8th March approaches with its proposals for tax  it is reasonable to ask what management information is available to the Chancellor. There has been news of an "improvement" in government borrowing (£1,680 bn) hinting at a loosening ...
    Posted 8 Mar 2017, 04:08 by Peter Webb
  • Surrey CC want a 15% increase in council tax WHO CAN DECIDE WHAT ?: Apparently, if it goes to a referendum, we decide either for the increase, or for "cuts". But it may not come to that if Surrey Leader ...
    Posted 21 Jan 2017, 13:44 by Peter Webb
  • It’s time to update the HOW TO DO GOVERNMENT manual.  We really cannot afford to continue as we are. But following a letter from the Public Accounts Committee (correspondence attached below) it is possible to summarise the post-imperial and ...
    Posted 24 Feb 2017, 11:43 by Peter Webb
  • The costly and debt fuelling flaw or design fault becomes ever clearer It is not being tackled because no office door marked  ‘government’  can be found:Two very recent PAC (Public Accounts Committee) Reports are consistent with the observation that (a) there ...
    Posted 7 Jan 2017, 06:44 by Peter Webb
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 80. 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 ?