New figures reveal an increase in PFI projects since the 2010 election

The coalition has plowed on with PFI projects despite criticising them as “dodgy” and “discredited” before the 2010 election.

Chancellor George Osborne will sign off 40 PFI projects this year worth almost £3.7bn, up from 38 in 2009 and 32 in 2008.

Since coming to power the government has given the green light to 61 PFI projects worth a total of £6.9bn, according to Treasury figures uncovered by Channel 4 News.

Before the 2010 election Nick Clegg criticised PFI as a “a bit of dodgy accounting – a way in which the government can pretend they’re not borrowing when they are, and we’ll all be picking up the tab in 30 years”.

In 2009 Osborne described the model as “discredited”.

But the number of projects due to be given the green light this year is still below the peak under Tony Blair in 2000, when 67 projects reached financial close worth £4.6bn.