New figures show the number of people receiving Universal Credit in Aberdeen rose by more than 150% in the space of a year.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published its latest statistics for December, which show the number of people in receipt of the benefit in the north-east continued to rise.
The statistics show there were more than 32,000 people in the north-east receiving the benefit.
As of last month, there were 18,006 people in Aberdeen City on Universal Credit, compared to 7,009 12 months previously – a rise of 157.8%.
In Aberdeenshire, 14,421 people received the benefit, up from 6,105 in December 2019, an increase of 136.2%.
Stephen Flynn, the MP for Aberdeen South, said the increase highlighted the “difficulties facing our city” – and urged the UK Government to rethink plans to end a £20 Universal Credit top-up.
He said: “These latest figures show that more and more people in the city are turning to Universal Credit – highlighting once again the difficulties facing our city, but also how absurd it would be for the Tories to cut the £20 uplift.
“It’s simply unbelievable that many thousands of people in Aberdeen are set to see their vital support payments cut in the midst of this pandemic and the UK Government must think again.
“Just this week I called on the Secretary of State [for work and pensions Therese Coffey] to commit to the maintaining the £20 uplift and it beggars belief that they continue to deflect and drag their heels.
“Yet again it becomes abundantly clear that this Tory government refuses to do the right thing by hard pressed families across the city.”
The £20 weekly uplift is due to come to an end in March when Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces this year’s budget.
However, Mr Flynn wants ministers to extend it further.
Employment minister Mims Davies said: “These figures show many people are still facing difficult times, but our support is helping keep millions of workers on payrolls across the country.
“Whilst there is light at the end of the tunnel with jabs already in the arms of millions and the vaccine rollout gathering pace, our Plan for Jobs is helping to protect and support livelihoods, as well as create new opportunities for those who need them.
“The number of vacancies has risen for six consecutive months, our Kickstart Scheme for young people has already created more than 120,000 job placements and we have provided over £280 billion to protect incomes and livelihoods as we battle the pandemic.”