ALARM bells are ringing among civil engineering contractors as the latest trade survey returns the most disappointing set of results for two years.
More firms are reporting a drop in workloads than those enjoying a rise for the first time since 2001. And companies quizzed by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association are pretty gloomy about prospects for the coming 12 months.
But how can this be, when Government infrastructure spending should be gunning along with its much vaunted 10-year transport plan in full swing?
The simple answer is that the money and the projects are not coming forward as quickly as promised.
The Labour Party has proved itself adept at announcing initiatives in a flurry of positive headlines.
But come the implementation phase and the dawdling and delays set in, leaving contractors twiddling their thumbs when they should be working flat-out.
Public anger is growing against the Government as people realise their tax bill is constantly rising but the country's infrastructure is standing still.
Money is pouring into an ever-growing public sector workforce that only seems to excel in wasting cash while the country's transport network continues to crumble.
Contractors are ready, willing and able to build new roads, railways and services networks.
The Government has the money to finance its plans - we know that because it comes out of our wage packets each week.
Labour needs to wise up - and fast - because its spending promises are surely not being met if civil engineers are facing a slowdown in work.
And the public will only put up with that for so long before making its feelings clear at the ballot box.