Over 400 workers in South Ayrshire who receive Universal Credit payments are being told they need to seek more work or face sanctions and cuts in benefits.
South of Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth is now calling on the UK Government to “pause and fix” the roll out of Universal Credit in South Ayrshire after discovering that 401 local residents (52% of Universal Credit claimants in the county) are “working with requirements”. This means that they are making less than the equivalent of the national minimum wage at full hours each week.
The rules for Universal Credit mean that these people have to increase their income - either with a second job, more hours or a higher paid job - or face cuts to Universal Credit.
Mr Smith said: “These figures are another kick in the teeth for hard working people in South Ayrshire.
“It’s not their fault that our region remains the lowest paid in the country and there has been an increase in zero hour contracts and an ever rising cost of living.
“So to threaten hundreds of people locally that their benefits will be cut because they aren’t being paid enough is simply shocking.
“The UK Government has to pause and fix Universal Credit, as these figures show that the system is just not fit for purpose.”