Housing minister Kris Hopkins said the government had inherited rules which enabled many to claim more in benefits than they would have earned in the workplace.
He emphasised that those in need of support should continue receiving it.
“Anyone over 25 and seeking work is entitled to receive £71.70 per week in jobseekers’ allowance - £6.25 per week more than when we came to power,” he said.
“Those under 25 can claim £56.80 per week - £4.90 more than in 2010. And child tax credit for the poorest families has increased by £420.”
He argued that it was vital for the welfare system to help people get back into work.