The capital spending provision, 3.6% of next year's Gross Domestic Product, is in line with the Government's four-year plan.

Roads building will be hit hard. Under Transport 21, €1.5bn was supposed to be spent on roads. The allocation for 2011 is €720m.

40 major road projects have been suspended.

Iarnród Éireann's rail interconnector in Dublin city will continue through planning, but there will not be money to move towards construction.

Metro North still has the green light, although it is subject to final approval.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said next year's investment is significant, will sustain growth and jobs - a contention hotly contested by Opposition parties.

Mr Lenihan said the capital spending programme will be augmented by the investment programmes of the commercial State sponsored bodies.

In addition, the National Pensions Reserve Fund has confirmed a willingness to invest in Irish infrastructure assets on a commercial basis in partnership with third-party institutional investors.