Yvette Cooper warns of a public services crisis if the Tories win in 2015

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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 lecture emphasising the importance of "people-powered" public services. It also comes before a speech on Monday by her husband, the shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who will unveil tough measures to tackle tax avoidance.

In particular, he will require tax havens that are UK overseas territories to publish details of who owns companies headquartered on their shores.

Other measures include tackling dormant companies that can trade for up to five years without paying tax, and "disguised employment" particularly in the construction industry.

"George Osborne is failing to tackle tax avoidance. The most recent figures from HMRC show that the amount of uncollected tax in our economy – the 'tax gap' – went up last year. This isn't good enough, so Labour will make reversing this trend and narrowing the tax gap a priority for HMRC," Balls said.

Labour will also table an amendment to the finance bill next week urging the government to act to close a eurobonds loophole, which allows firms to shift profits out of the UK and has been estimated to be costing up to £500m a year in lost revenues.

It comes as parliament's standards watchdog said it would consider a complaint about the links between two shadow cabinet ministers and the IPPR thinktank, after they endorsed some of its policies.

Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary, and Cruddas are accused of failing to declare "sponsorship" by the IPPR in the register of MPs' interests.

There is a long tradition of links between the IPPR and Labour, similar to that between right-leaning thinktanks such as the Centre for Policy Studies and Policy Exchange with the Conservatives. Cruddas said the complaint was "totally ridiculous".

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Rowena Mason, political correspondent, for The Guardian on Saturday 28th June 2014 00.01 Europe/London

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