Friday 11 October 2019 / 10:30 PM Jeremy Corbyn / Universal Credit

Corbyn: Labour will address grotesque inequality and poverty blighting held back coastal communities due to austerity

Addressing a rally in Hastings tomorrow (Saturday 12 October 2019) Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, will commit the next Labour government to addressing the “grotesque inequality and poverty” that is blighting coastal communities as a result of Conservative cuts.

Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to Hastings follows new analysis showing that workers living in seaside areas in Great Britain earn on average £1,600 less per year than those living inland. The Labour Leader visited Southampton on Thursday to announce Labour’s plan to build 37 new publicly-owned wind farms, creating 70,000 good jobs and investing the profits directly into infrastructure projects in held back coastal communities  

Last year alone, food banks in Hastings distributed 87,453 meals. It is predicted that by the time Universal Credit is fully rolled out approximately one in five adults (15,492) living in Hastings & Rye will be on Universal Credit – the flagship Tory welfare policy which Jeremy Corbyn has called “inhumane” and an “unmitigated disaster”. In government, Labour will scrap Universal Credit and immediately introduce a package of emergency measures to end its worst aspects, including the benefit cap, the two child limit, punitive sanctions regime and the five week wait for an initial payment.

The Labour Leader will use his Hastings speech to promise that Labour members across the country will launch “the biggest people-powered campaign” this country has ever seen “as soon as the Prime Minister Boris Johnson obeys the law and takes No Deal off the table”.

Jeremy Corbyn will be joined by Hastings & Rye Labour’s candidate Peter Chowney at the rally.

Addressing the rally, Jeremy Corbyn MP is expected to say: 

“Hastings, like so many other held back coastal communities, has been blighted by the grotesque inequality and poverty caused by nine years of vicious austerity and Tory cuts.  

“Poverty and inequality is not inevitable. In the fifth richest country in the world no one should be forced to rely on a foodbank to feed their family, no one should be sleeping rough on our streets and nobody should be working for poverty wages.

“Labour will end the evil of in-work poverty and the next Labour government will end the need for food banks.

“We will completely transform the way our economy works by bringing in a Real Living Wage of at least £10 per hour, ending the inhumane and barbaric Universal Credit, cap rents, building a million genuinely affordable homes and delivering the biggest extension of rights for workers our country has ever seen to tip power away from bosses and into the hands of the people.  

“We have a once-in-a generation chance to rebuild and transform our country. As soon as Johnson obeys the law and takes No Deal off the table, we are ready to launch the biggest people-powered campaign this country has ever seen to deliver a Labour government that will deliver the real change that our country needs.”


Notes to Editors:

  • Coastal communities: Residents earn £1,600 less than people inland

o   12.8 per cent of households are estimated to be in fuel poverty in Hastings & Rye:

o   Under Tory plans, in Hastings & Rye, 7580 households could lose their free TV licence:

  • Nationally, the Tory government’s policies have caused real suffering for working people:

o   Child poverty has risen to over four million under the Tories and the Institute for Fiscal Studies projects it to rise by a further million by the end of this parliament.

o   Pensioner poverty has increased by 400,000 under the Tories. Yet that didn’t stop the Tories from trying to scrap the Triple Lock and means-test Winter Fuel Payments.

o   The Tories have presided over the slowest recovery since the 1920s. Last year growth in our economy was the lowest in the G7 and the slowest since 2012.

o   The National Living Wage won’t hit the £9 per hour by 2020 the Tories promised. Tory failure will leave workers on the National Living Wage worse off by £615 in 2020.

o   Last year, the richest saw their incomes grow by nearly 5 per cent, whilst the poorest saw their incomes decline. There are also now a record number of people in working households in poverty.


  • In government, Labour will scrap Universal Credit and immediately end the worst aspects of Universal Credit, including:
    • Ending the benefit cap and the two child limit, which alone will stop up to 300,000 more children being pushed into poverty;
    • Immediately suspending the punitive sanctions regime, which has been ineffective at supporting people back to work and has instead pushed people into poverty and reliance on food banks;
    • Ending Universal Credit’s “digital only” requirement, which excludes people who cannot access the internet or are not computer literate, and recruiting 5000 additional advisors to deliver this change;
    • Switching to split payments and fortnightly payments, including an automatic interim payment to end the five week wait.


  • Amber Rudd, the incumbent MP, has expressed her intention to run as an independent candidate at the next General Election. Rudd previously won her seat in the 2017 General Election with a majority of only 346.  As Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rudd has helped oversee the roll out of Universal Credit. The Conservatives have yet to announce their candidate for Hastings & Rye.