THE Treasury last night cast fresh doubt on Alex Salmond's plans for an independent Scotland keeping the pound after the First Minister abandoned his idea of an underlying "fiscal stability pact".

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said the eurozone crisis showed controls on tax and spending had to be a condition of monetary union, contradicting Mr Salmond.

Earlier this year, the First Minister backed a stability pact with the Bank of England and Treasury which would have limited how much an independent Scotland could tax, spend and borrow from the international money markets.

But in Chicago last week, Mr Salmond said a pact was no longer needed.

It prompted former chancellor Alistair Darling, chairman of the pro-Union Better Together campaign, to accuse Mr Salmond of flip-flopping.

Mr Alexander, Liberal Democrat MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey, said: "Perhaps all these foreign trips have led Alex Salmond to forget about the eurozone crisis on his own doorstep, though he clearly remembered to pack his flip-flops."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "Scotland is in a stronger financial position than the UK as a whole, and therefore will have no difficulty adhering to fiscal discipline within a sterling zone as an independent country."