The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has said it is 'right to question' why the taxpayer was 'subsidising lifestyles' like that of Michael Philpott, the man convicted of manslaughter over the death of six of his children in a fire at his Derby home.
Osborne was immediately criticised for appearing to endorse tabloid coverage linking the crime to Philpott's alleged benefits income of £60,000 a year – the combination making Philpott, according to the Daily Mail, a 'vile product of Welfare UK'.
Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury under Osborne, said: 'The Philpott case is an individual tragedy. Children have died in that case. I think that is where we should let that case lie. I would not want to connect that to the much wider need to reform our welfare system'.