Some welfare entitlement claimants are being expected to survive for six weeks without any money, according to MP Stuart McDonald.
The SNP MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East is urging the UK government to halt the roll-out of full service Universal Credit with immediate effect, arguing it is already causing unnecessary suffering,
Universal Credit is due to be extended across the constituency in April next year and is already in operation for single claimants and large parts of East Dunbartonshire council area.
Mr McDonald says the way the system operates is forcing some local people to turn to pay day loans and food banks in order to make ends meet – leading to “a vicious cycle of debt and despair”.
He said: “I know from speaking to local people, advice agencies and landlords that, the roll-out of universal credit there has been a dog’s breakfast.
“It has had profound implications for the constituents concerned, and I support those who call for it to be halted now.”
“All the evidence shows that the many problems with the new system, such as the six-week waiting period, are substantially increasing poverty and causing misery for claimants.”
He added: “This is a disgrace, and it’s time for the UK Government to go back to the drawing board in order to end what has become a living nightmare for many of my constituents.
“However, if the Government insist on carrying on with their broken system regardless, they should take urgent action to resolve the predicament of too many claimants, just as the Scottish Government are looking to use their limited flexibilities to alleviate the worst features of the system.”