AMBER Rudd is under fresh pressure to help end the benefits freeze early, amid “destitution” fears for families.

MPs want the Work and Pensions Secretary to “go one step further” and press Chancellor Philip Hammond to consider ending the longstanding freeze by 2019/20.

Rudd has previously signalled she does not expect the freeze to be renewed in 2020. But now the Work and Pensions Committee has written to Rudd outlining the demand while highlighting House of Commons Library analysis which suggests 2019/20 incomes for households affected by caps and freezes to benefits and tax credits since 2010 will be between £888 and £1845 lower in real terms.

Hammond is preparing to present his Spring Statement on March 13. Independent MP Frank Field, who chairs the committee, wrote: “The most recent monthly public borrowing figures show a budget surplus of £14.9 billion in January 2019 – £5.6bn more than the surplus in January 2018, and the largest January budget surplus on record.

“As the Government considers how it will use the higher than expected January surplus, our view is that the first priority should be supporting low-income households by lifting the freeze on working-age benefits,” he added.