Yvette Cooper warns of a public services crisis if the Tories win in 2015
The shadow home secretary will tell the Fabian Society that public services should mean empowerment and opportunities.
The NHS, police, education system and social care are at risk of an “existential crisis” within the next five years if the Conservatives win the next election, Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, will warn on Saturday.
In a wide-ranging speech the senior Labour MP, tipped as a future leader, will say public services are about empowerment and opportunities not just a safety net, as the Tories believe.
She will make the comments at a conference organised by the Fabian Society, which sets out its own 12 ideas for Labour’s manifesto. Its first suggestion is that a Labour government should freeze public service spending until the deficit is under control and prioritise money for healthcare, children and skills.
Other proposals include linking pension payments and many other benefits to wages; barring businesses from running entire public services; upping the minimum wage to 60% of median earnings; a five-year programme of tax reform; a UK sovereign wealth fund; and a new midweek bank holiday in aid of the environment.
Before the conference, Andrew Harrop, general secretary of the Fabian Society, said the party had “lots of detailed policies to deploy in 2015, but lacks a clear story of how Britain will be different by 2020 after five years of Labour in power”.
He added: “Eyecatching but small-scale promises are not enough – the party needs to adopt radical long-term reforms. This is the only way Labour can reconnect with voters and prove that the political parties are not all the same.”
Cooper, speaking alongside the shadow health secretary Andy Burnham and Jon Cruddas, party policy chief, will say Labour will focus on public services in the runup to 2015.
“At a time when people feel insecure and overstretched, quality public services matter more than ever,” she will say. “Yet right now those vital public services we depend on are under growing threat.”
Setting out potential policy ideas in her own home affairs brief, Cooper will announce that Labour would hold a review of failed rape convictions to work out why the number of successful prosecutions is falling. She will also confirm the party’s commitment to holding police disciplinary hearings in public to increase transparency in the wake of scandals such as Hillsborough and undercover police forming relationships with activists. Communities and councils should also have a say in appointing police chiefs and setting priorities for their local forces, she will say.
Her intervention continues the themes of Ed Miliband’s Hugo Young
- The Guardian,