Most of us think of Eastbourne as an affluent town with a thriving tourism trade and business community, and this is true. If you are carrying on about your day to day life it is easy to overlook the inequalities, however when you start to explore the issues they are startling.
Out of a total of 46,264 households in Eastbourne 15,085 lived in poverty this year according to ESCC statistics. That’s 32.6 per cent of Eastbourne households living in poverty. With 90 million pounds in cuts coming to East Sussex County Council over the next three years we can expect to see a big reduction in the support available to families living in poverty, and I for one think that this is unacceptable.
An alternative to cuts is tax reform, ensuring that all businesses operating in the UK pay a fair share of tax and that tax distribution in the UK is fair. According to the Equality Trust a household in the bottom 10% of earners pay 43% of its income in tax, whilst the average and top 10% of earners pay only 35 per cent. The Trust proposes several measures to improve the UK’s tax system, all of which would lead to money being taken from the richest rather than the poorest in our society. I don’t have anything against the rich, I’m still crossing my fingers for that winning lottery ticket, but to me this seems like common sense! If you want to stand up to austerity on Saturday September 19 the Eastbourne People’s Assembly hold their launch event at Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Church Hall, Grange Rd, BN21 4EU from 6.30-8.30 (doors open at 6pm). There will be a short programme of speakers including comedian and activist Mark Steel and Sam Fairbairn, National Secretary of the People’s Assembly. The audience will have a chance to put their views across and ask questions followed by a workshop style space to share ideas on actions and campaigns for the local area. Contact Eas firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to attend the event or become involved in campaigning.