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By Mark Smulian.The British Government invests less per head in housing, construction and infrastructure than any other major industrial country except Greece, the Labour Party claimed this week.Figures published by shadow environment secretary Jack Straw also showed Britain investing the lowest proportion of its national income in these sectors, with the exception of the United States.Mr Straw said: 'These figures starkly illustrate how Britain is fast becoming a second-rate nation with an increasingly Third World feel about much of its urban areas.'His figures came from the latest statistics issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).He said: 'The UK Government has squandered our assets on keeping the country in recession. It would be monumental social and economic folly for it now to cut public investment.'The figures show government gross capital formation - investment in fixed assets by central and local government - at 1.8 per cent of gross domestic product in the UK.This compares with 1.7 per cent in the US, but with 5.1 per cent in Japan and between 2 per cent and 3.5 per cent in the other main EC countries and Canada.Per capita spending on housing and infrastructure stood at £165 in the UK, compared with £135 in Greece, £488 in Japan and £234 in Germany.Mr Straw called on the Government to start releasing the £5,100 million of capital receipts which councils are at present barred from spending.Labour estimates that every £1,000 million released would create 60,000 jobs and could pay for the purchase of 18,000 empty homes or the building of 16,000 new homes.Mr Straw brushed aside Government objections that increasing the spending of capital receipts would push up the public sector borrowing requirement and, in turn, interest rates.