Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont tried to distance herself today from recent comments that questioned progressive welfare policies, from free university tuition to free NHS prescriptions.
Ms Lamont used her speech to the party faithful to insist that she was was no Tory in disguise - the Tories were "cutting too far and too fast."
And SNP First Minister Alex Salmond had loosed unsustainable tax breaks for the rich, she said, including cutting corporation tax back to 20 per cent if Scotland acquires tax-gathering powers from Westminster.
Ms Lamont hinted today that taxes could go back up under a Scottish Labour government.
"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," she said.
But last week Ms Lamont told an Edinburgh crowd last week she was "calling time" on overly lavish campaign pledges that benefit those families.
Scotland faced a "stark choice," she said. "If we wish to continue some policies as they are then they come with a cost which has to be paid for either through increased taxation, direct charges or cuts elsewhere."
She acknowledged that hard-working families feel they pay enough and are attracted to policies such as free prescriptions, free tuition fees and the council-tax freeze.
But Scotland could not be the "only something-for-nothing country."