George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith have insisted they will push ahead with plans to slash another £12bn a year from the benefits bill.
The Chancellor and the Work and Pensions Secretary reiterated their determination to achieve the savings in full after an anti-austerity march in London on 20 June.
The politicians are believed to have thrashed out details of the cuts pledged in the Tory manifesto over the last few days – putting paid to rumours that they could be scaled back or delayed.
However, David Cameron has pledged full protection for child and pensioner benefits.
Writing in the Sunday Times, Mr Osborne and Mr Duncan Smith insisted they had inherited a “crackers” welfare system from Labour in 2010.
Labour MP Frank Field, newly-elected chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee, questioned whether the proposed cuts were “mirror or reality”.
He said: “They seem to have mistaken cutting the true cost of welfare for simply moving claimants from one benefit to another. The overall bill isn’t cut.”Reuse content