The government is failing to deliver on spending promises over housing, PFI schemes and roads, according to official figures revealed this week.
Overall government spending in the nine months from April to December 2002 inclusive totalled £15.8bn, slightly more than half what the government was due to spend in the whole year from April 2002 to the end of March 2003, according to figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics.

The £15.8bn investment amounts to a 7% increase compared with 2001 – the government had originally planned a 28% rise in spending.

The figures have led to concern over the government's ability to deliver the investment that it has promised. Allan Wilén, economics director at the Construction Products Association, said: "It has a lot of catching up to do."

He added: "There have been problems in delivery. It's important that the government redoubles its efforts of tackling those problems before the backlog of spending gets to a stage that uit can't catch up. The longer it's left, the more difficult it will be to fill the gap."

The ONS figures came as it emerged that the number of affordable houses built last year is the lowest since records began in 1949.

The statistics, published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, show that the number of affordable housing built has dropped by one-third since Labour came to power in 1997. They showed that total housing completions was 160,000 for the period, well short of the 220,000 growth in number of households.