Dundee’s two MPs have called on the roll-out of Universal Credit to be stopped after research found foodbank use has rocketed in areas where the new benefit has been introduced.
Universal Credit is replacing six older benefits, including income support and housing benefit, and is being introduced in phases around the country.
People in Dundee started being switched over to Universal Credit in November.
New research has found that foodbank use had risen by 52% in areas where it is in place – four times higher than the increase in areas where it has yet to be rolled out.
Between April 2017 and April this year, 7,234 three-day emergency food supplies were provided to people facing crisis by the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network in Dundee, more than 2,000 of which were for children.
Now Dundee’s SNP MPs have called for the urgent halt of the Universal Credit roll-out.
Dundee West MP Chris Law said: “I have spoken to Dundee Foodbank, who confirmed to me that Universal Credit and other benefits changes are definitely having an adverse effect on claimants.
“The five-week wait for first payment of Universal Credit means many have to enter arrears to feed and house themselves, a situation that claimants can struggle to break out of even after receiving their first payment.
“This is simply unacceptable,” Mr Law added.
Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie said: “We have seen time and time again the damage that the roll-out of Universal Credit has done to families and communities across this country.
“It’s time the UK Government reconsidered its course of action before more families are forced into poverty.”