THE SNP's Chris Stephens has said that the UK social security system is "broken", after a response from the Tory Government revealed that some of Scotland's poorest families were forced to pay back £9 million in just one month.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) admitted in a response to the Glasgow South West MP that £8.99m was taken back from Universal Credit recipients in Scotland last August alone. 

It said £4.69m of the money was used to repay the loans the families had taken to cover basic living costs for the five weeks they had to wait before their first Universal Credit payment.

In Glasgow South West, of the £190,000 in deductions, £110,000 was for University Credit Advanced Repayment deductions.

Stephens said: “In Scotland, almost £9million is taken out of people’s pockets a month, leaving too many of our citizens relying on the support of food banks.

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“It is clear that the DWP advance payment system simply doesn’t work, and that the UK welfare system is broken.

“I would urge all Parliamentary colleagues to look at these figures and to press the UK government to build a social security system fit for purpose, starting with scrapping the five-week wait and introducing the first payment within the first two weeks of a claim without the need to pay it back. The current system is a vicious circle of debt.

“In Scotland, we are taking a different approach and building a social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect – it’s about time the Tories followed suit.”

The DWP admitted last month that it deducted a total of £50m from claimants in the UK in just one month to pay back advance payment loans. 

Their own figures show that in addition to this, a further £44m is being deducted to repay previous overpayments, errors, arrears or fines.