Almost two-thirds of Scots believe real poverty has increased over the last decade, according to a survey.
Bright Blue Scotland, a liberal-conservative think-tank, published a report which looked at opinions about the social security system before the outbreak of Covid-19.
It found that 64% believe cuts to the department would be damaging while 60% want Holyrood to decide policy.
The report also found 62% of Scots believe poverty has increased over the last ten years, while 70% think real poverty exists north of the border.
Anvar Sarygulov, the report’s author, said: “Until now, there has been little exploration of the views of the Scottish people towards the social security changes that the SNP government has enacted since 2016.
“For the most part, the Scottish public approves of the current approach, with changes to disability and child benefits, and adjustments to Universal Credit, seen especially in a favourable light.
“Especially as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic, social security is once again under increasing scrutiny.
“When making decisions in the future, it will be important to remember that even before the current crisis, the Scottish public had concerns about the levels of social security support available, especially for groups such as carers and disabled people.
“Hence, it will also be important to reexamine these attitudes again in the future, as they shift due to the unfolding crisis.
“The Scottish Government needs to consider repeating this comprehensive and detailed analysis of Scottish public attitudes – so its policies can be shaped and evaluated by the Scottish people.”
The report also found most Scots support allowing full-time carers to keep some of their Carers Allowance if they earn above the current weekly earnings limit of £123.
A total of 59% support providing additional income supplement for those on low incomes based on previous National Insurance contributions.
Meanwhile, 57% would back setting up an independent compensation scheme for benefit claimants when a Government agency causes hardship through negligence and fails to correct their error.
The report took answers from 3002 adults in Scotland.