The government will today be slated by a Labour dominated Commons inquiry for failing to deliver effectively a flagship housing policy. Financial Times, The Times

The 'long and tortuous' introduction of home information packs, characterised by delays and U-turns, 'signals another failure of delivery' on the part of the Department for Communities and Local Government, the select committee scrutinising the department warns in a highly critical report.

It lays the blame on Yvette Cooper, the housing minister, and Ruth Kelly, the former communities secretary, saying: 'The reasons for that failure lie in poor preparation and a retreat by the department’s ministerial team.'

Hips require homeowners putting their properties on the market to pay for packs containing energy-ratings for the houses and basic legal information such as searches. But the government delayed the planned June 2007 introduction date after concerted industry and consumer pressure.

The packs finally became mandatory for all homes last month. Iain Wright, a minister at the department, last night said the government had 'taken a sensible and thoughtful approach to ensure smooth implementation'.