More than 70,000 people in Tayside and Fife will be hit by UK government plans to remove the £20 per week uplift on Universal Credit.
Statistics show that 71,829 people in the regions are on Universal Credit, all of whom will be affected by the plans, due to be implemented in April.
In Perth and Kinross, this will affect an estimated 10,237 people, while in Fife, 35,668 people will lose out.
Meanwhile in Angus and Dundee, this would impact 9,511 and 16,413 people respectively.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney, who represents the Perthshire North constituency called for a U-turn on the decision, saying it could plunge thousands of people into poverty.
“By slashing social security payments in the middle of an economic crisis, the Tories could push thousands of people across the region further into hardship and poverty”, he said.
“There must be an immediate U-turn on this to avoid worsening poverty and inequality across the region during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Although the SNP government has led the way in tackling poverty, with new benefits like the Scottish Child Payment and a social security system based on dignity and respect, this progress is being severely undermined by Tory cuts.
“It is crucial that the £20 uplift to Universal Credit is made permanent and extended to legacy benefits, as part of a wider package to boost incomes after a decade of damaging Tory austerity cuts.”
In response, the UK government said it is “committed” to supporting people throughout the pandemic.
A government spokesperson said: “We are committed to supporting the lowest-paid families through the pandemic and beyond to ensure that nobody is left behind.
“That’s why we’ve targeted our support to those most in need by raising the living wage, spending hundreds of billions to safeguard jobs, boosting welfare support by billions and introducing the £170m Covid-19 Winter Grant Scheme to help children and families stay warm and well-fed during the coldest months.”
The temporary £20 increase to Universal Credit was introduced in March last year and is intended to run until the end of this March.