The challenges facing people in the north-east applying for Universal Credit were discussed at a public meeting held by the Aberdeenshire West Labour Party.
The meeting in Inverurie was chaired by councillor Alison Evison, with Lewis Macdonald MSP and Sarah Flavell of Gordon Rural Action in attendance.
It was organised to highlight where help is available to residents of Aberdeenshire.
Mrs Evison said: “It is clear that people living in rural areas, people without access to affordable internet, as well as some non-UK European citizens and women are not being treated well by the current roll-out of Universal Credit.
“Far more resource needs to be put into the system by the UK government if it is going to continue.
“There is a lot of pressure on our local advice agencies who are trying to support people.”
Ms Flavell added: “If this is the system we have, we have to make it work and enable claimants to feel they are being treated with dignity and respect.”
North-east MSP Mr Macdonald said: “I was delighted to support this very worthwhile public meeting, to address the issues around Universal Credit and to hear the concerns of people supporting claimants in rural Aberdeenshire.
“The Scottish Parliament’s social security committee published a report earlier this month highlighting the need to protect low-paid working people and families from unintended consequences of the way Universal Credit has been rolled out, and calling for changes in future.
“That message received a warm welcome in Inverurie.”