MP Philip Davies urged the Government to “stick to its guns” during a Commons exchange on inherited social housing tenancies.

The Shipley constituency MP called on employment minister Esther McVey to ensure the welfare state is about being a safety net for people in need. He called on it to be rebalanced to make sure it is as fair to taxpayers as it is for people claiming benefits.

His comments came after Labour MP Chris Bryant said that more people than originally thought who inherit a social tenancy and housing benefit from a partner or parent could be exempted from the under-occupancy charge.

People who had been in a property prior to 1996 and continuously entitled to Housing Benefit are exempt from the removal of the spare room subsidy, along with those who inherited tenancies from their partner following their death.

Mr Davies added: “Given Labour’s lamentable response to the Budget last week, they need to do better than to keep flogging this particular dead horse.”

Employment Minister Esther McVey said: “We are ensuring that welfare works and we have a benefits system that works for the 21st century. We know that we are reaping rewards from that: the number of people living in workless households has fallen; the number of people in employment is at a record level; and youth unemployment has fallen for six consecutive months.’’