David Cameron has rejected Phillip Schofield's suggestion he is out of touch and does not know any poor working families.
The prime minister was challenged by the ITV This Morning presenter over his plan to cut tax credits, which was defeated in the House of Lords last week.
"People say that you are out of touch, you don't know families on the breadline, they are not people that you would deal with," he said.
Cameron insisted this was not true. "I do. I am a constituency MP. People come into my surgery talking about their problems, their circumstances, how we can help," he told Schofield.
The prime minister said: "What we are aiming for is higher pay so they make more money, lower taxes so they keep more of their own money to spend as they choose and helping with childcare - giving people 30 hours a week rather than 15 hours a week of free child care."
The criticism was one raised by Tory backbencher Heidi Allen. The new MP famously used her first speech in parliament to attack the cuts to tax credits.
"Conservatives pride themselves of living within their means, of cutting their cloth. But what if there is no cloth left to cut? How many of us really know what it feels like? How many have walked in those shoes?" she asked.