CHARITIES and anti-poverty campaign groups are lining up to criticise the roll out of universal credit warning it will leave families worse off.

Switching benefits payments to monthly pay outs could see people run out of cash and push them into more debt it is feared.

Paying cash including rent to one member of the household could leave women and children in greater hardship it is claimed.

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform committee are hearing from organisations who deal with people suffering hardship and struggling to make ends meet on benefits.

Citizens Advice Scotland said expecting people on benefits to wait in some cases five weeks for the next payment will lead to budgeting problems.

In a written submission to the committee it said: “Some CAB clients who are already struggling with fortnightly payments will be even more severely affected by having to manage on a single monthly sum.

Early evidence suggests that clients claiming Universal Credit have had issues with running out of money before their next monthly payment is due.”

Campaigner calling for any new Scottish Welfare system after more powers are devolved from Westminster to help change attitudes towards people on benefits.

The Poverty alliance said: “We have noticed a marked increase in the use of stigmatising and divisive language both by politicians and by the media.

“We are concerned that this is at least partly a result of changes in our welfare system and we hope that any further changes in Scotland work to reverse this trend.”

Others fear the new powers will not give Scotland the autonomy it needs to devise a system tailored to meet needs specific to Scotland.

Satwat Rehman, Director of One Parent Families Scotland, said: “The Smith Commission proposed new devolved welfare powers across a number of areas.

“However, the Scotland Bill currently being debated at Westminster appears to restrict these proposals in various ways, such as the ‘no detriment’ clause which would give the UK the right to claw back monies if variations in expenditure in Scotland were deemed to be detrimental to the UK budget.

“Welfare benefits should work for Scotland and areas of reserved social security must take account of the different legislative housing, childcare, education, social care and training landscape in Scotland.”