Shadpw DTI minister Stephen O’Brien has pledged to match Labour’s spending plans in schools and hospitals if the Conservatives win the next general election.

Speaking at a fringe meeting of construction umbrella bodies at the Tory Party Conference on Tuesday, O’Brien said that the spending plans would be equalled and possibly exceeded. He also promised a review of transport spending.

But industry leaders criticised O’Brien for not having spending targets in place. Michael Ankers, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, said it was essential for construction products companies to know what they needed to supply.

He said: “Having targets in place allows us to be able to plan, but it is also a chance to evaluate the market. The government has targets in place, and although we sometimes embarrass it by revealing how it has not met the targets, at least they are there.”