Corbyn in his speech... largely focused on the differences between Conservatives and Labour on the economy.
Describing himself as a proud trade unionist, and expressing support for workers on strike, he said:
“They call us deficit deniers; they spend billions cutting taxes for the richest families and for the most profitable businesses. What they are is poverty deniers."
“They are ignoring the growing queues at food banks, they are ignoring the housing crisis, [and] they are cutting tax credits … let’s be clear: austerity is actually a political choice that this government is taking and they are imposing it on the most vulnerable and poorest in society,” Corbyn said.
He also signalled a change in policy on welfare, hardening Labour’s opposition to the government’s welfare reforms, by pledging to oppose the cap on the total amount of benefits that a person can receive. At the last budget this was cut to £20,000 a year for families in the UK, rising to £23,000 in London.
“We oppose the benefit cap. We oppose social cleansing. We will bring the welfare bill down by controlling rents and boosting wages, not by impoverishing families and socially cleansing our communities,” Corbyn said.
Labour had abstained on the welfare bill at second reading after Harriet Harman, then acting leader, ordered her MPs to do so because she wanted to show that the party understood the public’s concerns about welfare. At the general election the party was committed to keeping the welfare benefit cap, although it did say it would examine the case for regional variations.
Corbyn also disclosed that Labour has gained 30,000 new members since he was elected on Saturday, adding that party membership had reached about a third of a million. “It is a very fast journey at the present time,” he said.
Kenny welcomed the speech, and described it as a “staggeringly different approach to previous Labour party leaders that have addressed the TUC. There [were] no walkouts this time, it was standing room only. There is very much in Jeremy’s leadership for the working people of this country.”
From The Guardian. 16/9/15