Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has called for the Tory government to ‘pause and fix’ the roll out of Universal Credit in Dumfries and Galloway, as new figures reveal that four in 10 working people on the benefit are being told to seek more work or face sanctions and cuts in benefits.

New figures released show that of the thousands of people in the region on Universal Credit 211 are working ‘with requirements’.

When a worker receiving Universal Credit is working ‘with requirements’ it means they are making less than the equivalent of the national minimum wage at full hours each week.

The rules around 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.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “These figures are another kick in the teeth for hard working people in Dumfries and Galloway.  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”.

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