Scottish charities launched an angry attack today on "criminal" Con-Dem cuts to benefits that have created a climate of fear and a huge spike in demand for their services.
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) warned that three-quarters of charities north of the border predicted rising demand over the coming year as a result of the Tory welfare "reforms."
The council's annual survey of 403 charity heads found 81 per cent expected the sector's finances to dwindle even further over the same period.
One executive said their homelessness charity could already see the effect of cutting access to housing benefit for young people and low earners.
Looming cuts to housing benefit would mean more lay-offs and culling of services.
Another charity said it was "overrun" with disabled people seeking help to appeal cuts to their support allowance.
"The local authority will not give us additional resources and offers a similar service for ESA that is restricted to council housing tenants.
"It prefers to keep its own employees and claim there is sufficient capacity locally - there isn't."
SCVO chief executive Martin Sime described the level of fear among benefits claimants as "unprecedented."
He warned that an "endless cycle of appeals, bureaucracy and misinformation" under the Tory reforms was pushing people to breaking point.