Alex Salmond used a meeting of leaders from around the UK at Downing Street to condemn the “bedroom tax”.
Mr Salmond said the cut to housing benefit for households deemed to have a spare room was causing “great social misery” and could end up costing the taxpayer money rather than helping to tackle the deficit.
Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, attending his first meeting of the joint ministerial council (JMC) said the talks had been “businesslike and professional” but “there are issues on which we have differences, that’s no great secret”.
The meeting of the joint ministerial council was chaired by David Cameron and attended by Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones and Northern Ireland’s Peter Robinson and his deputy Martin McGuinness.
Illustration by Iain Green