LONDON — In his first speech as Labor Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn urged the British people to reconsider the conservative government’s attention toward poverty.
“What they are is poverty deniers,” Corbyn said, “They’re ignoring the growing queues at the food banks, they’re ignoring the housing crisis, they’re cutting tax credits when child poverty rose by half-a-million under the last government to over four million.”
Jeremy Corbyn surprised the British public with a landslide victory. His policies and public speeches show a political leader that adds a new perspective to poverty quite different from conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron. Corbyn diverges from conservatives particularly on issues involving the economy.
In separate writings, Corbyn explained his economic policies in reference to the different aspects of government. He refers to the current administration’s approach to economics as a “conservative myth” pointing to large flaws in the treatment of labor, housing, big business and balancing the budget.
He strongly argues for “a serious debate about how wealth is created.” Corbyn identifies tax cuts for large businesses, divestment in public services and low wages as key reasons for the current condition of the impoverished.
He asked in his 2015 paper “The Economy in 2020,” “who bears the brunt? Once again it’s low-income families, disabled people, young people, public sector workers and our public services.”
His views draw a sharp connection between high finance and the public sector. Corbyn will look to parliament to resolve these issues.
As a solution to economic inequality, Jeremy Corbyn will focus on the people and public investment. “In reality, wealth creation is a collective process,” he said. He noted a sign of a healthy economy assisting the majority is not “the presence of billionaires, but the absence of poverty; not only by whether GDP is rising but by whether inequality is falling.”
Corbyn aims to reform housing, a recent manifestation of economic inequality. Britain’s housing market, in areas such as London, has become unaffordable for low-income and middle-income residents. In a 2015 paper “Tackling the Housing Crisis,” Corbyn argued “for too many people their housing is not a source of security, but a cause for anxiety.”
Corbyn explained the problem is much more complex than simply building new homes. He wants leaders to address the problem as a product of “regional disparities of income and wealth, taxation policy, the labour market, our social security system and planning regulations.”
He said he sees the housing crisis as not just a matter of out priced buyers, but also an issue of homelessness. The homeless rate has risen by 55 percent in England and 74 percent in London since 2010.
“Every part of the country needs cleaners, bus drivers, teachers and nurses – pricing them out will only damage our society and our economy,” Corbyn said.
The majority of the public remain hesitant to trust Jeremy Corbyn and support his plans for the economy. In a public poll after the election, only 23 percent trusted him with the economy while 50 percent did not. However, in a public poll earlier this year, 59 percent said they supported rent controls while fewer than 10 percent of the public disagreed.
On the issue of livable wages, 60 percent agreed on higher wages while 31 percent opposed them. A 2012 poll showed 56 percent agreed on a 75 percent tax rate for incomes over one million pounds and only 31 percent opposed. The tax rate is structured toward top earners in the one percent.
Though trust with the majority of the public is currently weak, the public’s stances on the issues of taxes, housing and wages are nearly identical to Corbyn’s.
“We have a deeply unbalanced society and a deeply unbalanced economy…Our vision is of an economy that works for all, provides opportunity for all, and invests in all – rich and poor, north, south, east and west,” Jeremy Corbyn said.