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".
Solicitor Tessa Gregory, who represented Cait Reilly and 40-year-old unemployed HGV driver Jamieson Wilson, said today's ruling reveals "a lack of transparency" by the Department for Work and Pensions in implementing mandatory work schemes.
The case has revealed that the Department for Work and Pensions was going behind Parliament's back and failing to obtain Parliamentary approval for the various mandatory work schemes that it was introducing.
It also reveals a lack of transparency and fairness in the implementation of these schemes.
The claimants had no information about what could be required of them under the back-to-work schemes.
The Court of Appeal has affirmed the basic constitutional principle that everyone has a right to know and understand why sanctions are being threatened and imposed against them.
University graduate Cait Reilly, who won her Court of Appeal claim today that requiring her to work for free at a Poundland discount store was unlawful, said she was "delighted" with the judgement.
I brought this case because I knew it was wrong when I was prevented from doing my voluntary work in a museum and forced to work in Poundland for free for two weeks as part of a scheme known as the sector based work academy.
Those two weeks were a complete waste of my time as the experience did not help me get a job.
I wasn't given any training and I was left with no time to do my voluntary work or search for other jobs.
The only beneficiary was Poundland, a multimillion-pound company. Later I found out that I should never have been told the placement was compulsory.
I don't think I am above working in shops like Poundland. I now work part time in a supermarket. It is just that I expect to get paid for working.
I hope the Government will now take this opportunity to rethink its strategy and do something which actually builds on young unemployed people's skills and tackles the causes of long-term unemployment.
I agree we need to get people back to work but the best way of doing that is by helping them, not punishing them.
The Government ought to understand that if they created schemes which actually helped people get back into work then they wouldn't need to force people to attend.
Households in Nottingham are facing huge debts after being overpaid benefits without their knowledge. In some cases benefits have been overpaid for more than a year. Now they're being asked to give the money back.
Nottingham City Council is blaming the government - saying a new system forced on them 9 months ago has led to a delay in processing changes in circumstances.
In a statement an official from the Department of Work and Pensions told Central News that the new system:
"Will get the right benefit payments to people faster and is forecast to save around three quarters of a billion pounds. Most local authorities are managing the system well and they are processing claims more quickly as a result."