ALEX Salmond turned his ire over the Budget on the Tories at Holyrood yesterday, saying he was sure the 15,000 Scots who would benefit from the cut in the top rate of tax would not have wanted this done at the expense of up to 500,000 pensioners.

Mr Salmond said 330,000 current pensioners would be affected by decisions made by the Chancellor. By 2016-17 the impact will amount to £220 more on income tax, potentially affecting half a million pensioners.

Addressing the Conservative benches, he referred to the first prime minister to introduce special allowances for pensioners, saying: "We've got to the stage where the Conservative Party in terms of their determination to pursue their own agenda are prepared to punish millions of pensioners across the UK – half a million pensioners in Scotland – reverse the policies of Winston Churchill and they wonder why next to nobody is voting for them?"

Tory MSP Gavin Brown said the Scottish Government failed to give credit for other Budget decisions, such as a cut to corporation tax and an increase to personal tax allowances.

"His answers today have completely ignored those two very important measures for Scotland," Mr Brown said.

The First Minister also criticised possible changes to UK policy on regional public sector pay. He said: "This move could penalise public servants, damage public services and increase regional pay disparities.