By politics.co.uk staff
Around 140,000 households are receiving more than £20,000 every year from benefits, according to the Conservatives.
They claim the figure, which applies to households with at least one person of working age, suggests public money is being wasted on benefits for those who would otherwise find work.
The average gross wage in Britain is £21,500. But as ten per cent of men and women in fulltime work earn less than £13,613 per year before taxes the Tories believe many are being deterred from finding employment.
The party's work and pensions spokesperson Chris Grayling accused the government of presiding over a culture of benefit dependency.
"It really is time the government got a grip on Britain's benefits culture," he said.
"It's hardly surprising that so many people live a life on benefits when in some cases it is possible to be paid as much money as someone in work on a typical average income. Things really have to change."
Further Tory research showed 70,000 earn receive more than £25,000 in benefits every year - and 20,000 households receive over £30,000.
The government has dismissed the claims, saying the families receiving these amounts are a "tiny minority".
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "In almost all cases the money includes extra support for the most severely disabled."