BENEFITS staff in Glasgow have been accused of "institutional racism" against the city's Roma community.
A Government inquiry has been launched after a report alleged families were threatened and lied to by job centre workers.
It claims more than a third of low-paid Roma claimants faced destitution because of delays in welfare payments of up to three years.
The allegations were made in a report commissioned by charity Oxfam from Govanhill Law Centre. The inquiry is centred on the Laurieston Jobcentre Plus, in an area that is home to 3000 Roma.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said it was taking the allegations "seriously".
GLC lawyers investigated how 66 families were dealt with by the DWP, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs and Glasgow City Council.
Lindsay Paterson, of the GLC, said: "We hope that HMRC will follow DWP's lead and also launch an investigation into the serious breaches of the Equality Act identified in the report."
Annie Lewis, from Oxfam Scotland, said: "We were concerned by evidence that Roma people are being treated differently from other EU citizens when it comes to accessing benefits and tax credits. We are pleased that an investigation has been started."
A DWP spokesman said: "We have spoken to the Govanhill Law Centre. We are considering the report published by the Centre."
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "We haven't been contacted yet by anyone regarding this. However if we are, we will do what we can do help."