JOHANN Lamont accused Alex Salmond of doubling the coalition cuts for councils and rejected SNP claims she is pursing a Tory agenda.

Speaking at the UK Labour conference, the Scottish Labour leader defended her speech last week that said free personal care, pensioner bus passes, free university tuition and free prescriptions were not sustainable.

Ms Lamont accused Mr Salmond of deliberately delaying tough decisions until after the independence referendum, and in a bid to create division within the UK.

Meanwhile Shadow Scottish Secretary, Margaret Curran, claimed the similarities between the Scottish Government and UK Government were growing.

Ms Lamont said she was being honest, not Tory, about the need to review universal benefits.

She said: "The people of Scotland know that nothing is free, and every day we see more clearly that the costs of Salmond's slogans are being borne by hard working families struggling to make ends meet, borne by the elderly and vulnerable seeing their care slashed, borne by the student who can't get a place in further education.

"Last week, when I pointed out that Scotland's families are paying for Salmond's unsustainable tax break for the rich, I was accused of being a Tory.

"I'm not sure if the cap fits with someone who campaigned against Thatcher's cuts to Scotland in the Eighties.

"Not sure the cap fits with someone who campaigned for a Scottish Parliament to protect Scotland from future Tory governments.

"And I am not sure the cap fits with someone who sees in surgeries, in meetings and in everyday life the consequences of a Tory Government cutting too far and too fast while we have an SNP Government content to amplify the cuts rather than protect people from them."

The SNP said her speech, like last week's, was again welcomed by the Tories.

Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, said: "Ms Lamont says the cap doesn't fit when her proposals are described as something the Tories would do and proud of. I say the cap fits way too neatly."

Ms Curran backed her leader and claimed both governments at Westminster and Holyrood were cutting services.

She said: "By the day, the similarities between them are growing."