He said: "I think what George Osborne said was absolutely right.
"He said that Mr Philpott was the one to blame for his crimes and he should be held responsible but what the Chancellor went on to say is we should ask some wider questions about our welfare system - how much it costs and the signals that it sends.
"We do want to make clear that welfare is there to help people who work hard, it shouldn't be there as a lifestyle choice and I think that's entirely legitimate."
I believe George Osborne's calculated decision to use the shocking and vile crimes of Mick Philpott to advance a political argument is the cynical act of a desperate Chancellor.
Our main thought at this time should be about the six children who tragically lost their lives, and the others in the family who have been left to mourn their loss.
We should have a proper debate about welfare reform.
And we should discuss what action needs to be taken to tackle the scourge of long-term unemployment including the need for a compulsory jobs guarantee so that people cannot languish on the dole for years and years on end.
But for the Chancellor to link this wider debate to this shocking crime is nasty and divisive and demeans his office.
It is wrong to link those acts with the debate about welfare and George Osborne should not be doing so, even implicitly.
Millions of people including pensioners and the disabled, people in work and out of work, receive benefits and tax credits. The Government needs to recognise that they are as shocked and disgusted by the callous killing of these children as anyone else in Britain.
– Stephen Timms, Labour Work and Pensions Minister
Chancellor George Osborne has questioned why the taxpayer should pay for benefit "lifestyles" such as those of child killer Mick Philpott.
When asked on a visit to Derby if the Philpotts were a product of Britain's benefit system, Mr Osborne said: "It's right we ask questions as a Government, a society and as taxpayers, why we are subsidising lifestyles like these. It does need to be handled."
He said Philpott "was responsible for horrendous crimes, crimes which have shocked the nation".
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said that housing benefit changes that have been introduced today are about "fairness".
In response to criticisms of the so-called 'bedroom tax', he said: "The reality is this is about getting our housing benefit back into order".
"This is about fairness. It's about fairness to those who pay vast sums of money in taxation to see that people living in subsidised accommodation who often don't use the bedrooms they've got, while others in overcrowded accommodation.... they can't get the accommodation they need.
"This is a nonsense problem that was created by the last government who didn't build enough housing and didn't manage the housing stock properly".