MPs want to give more money to the poor

More than 100 Labour MPs, including some senior cabinet figures, have backed a campaign to top up benefits or tax credits to low-paid parents. In an open letter to the Observer, the MPs argue that giving tax cuts to the middle classes may see money squirrelled away into savings accounts, whereas giving cash to those who really need it ensure it gets spent. Work and pensions minister James Purnell and children’s secretary Ed Balls are among those urging a payments boost.