08/10/2010 07:22 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

'If You Haven't Got The Money, You Shouldn't Have Kids' Says Tory MP

People who don't have jobs should not have families if they cannot afford them, a cabinet minister has declared.

'If you haven't got the money, you shouldn't have children,' he said.

Speaking on BBC2's programme Newsnight, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the jobless should take responsibility for their families, adding that it was not the duty of the state to fund an increasing number of offspring on benefits.

'It is important not to think of poor people as being complete victims of circumstance,' he said.

'They are just like everybody else who contemplates having a child and must ask themselves whether they are emotionally and financially ready for it.'

'If you're on benefits you cannot afford to have more children – and that should be taken into account,' he said.

'You can have children but if you are going to ask for support that is more than the average wage that people earn, then we're saying no, the state shouldn't support that.'

Jeremy Hunt's comments come days after Chancellor George Osborne announced that no family should receive more than £500 per week on benefits.

Many conservative MPs have spoken in favour Jeremy Hunt's controversial comments.

But Labour leader Ed Milliband said the remarks were 'cruel' and 'abhorrent'. Speaking on ITV's programme This Morning, he said: 'I think we need to support all families in this country and certainly not lecture them in the way that Jeremy Hunt sounds like he's doing.'

And Labour MP Kate Green said: 'It is utterly wrong that children should suffer because of circumstances their parents experience. It's absolutely wrong to go down the line of saying only rich people or better-off people should be parents.'

What do you think?
Will you be affected by the benefit cuts for parents?
How far should the state go in supporting unemployed families?