The host, 66, was chairing a discussion on the cost-of-living crisis after a minister appeared to suggest that those struggling to make ends meet could work more hours.
Rachel Maclean, safeguarding minister in the Home Office, said families could “protect” themselves from the cost of living crisis in the long term by taking on more work or “moving to a better paid job”.
Discussing her comments, he said: “Do you think that she has got a point? That we are too quick as a society, largely because of social media to jump on the heads of people who are going into areas that are controversial, but some people say need saying.
“In other words ‘God helps people who helps themselves’. It’s an old saying but it has a degree of wisdom to it, hasn’t it?”
The comment was slammed by some viewers at home, with one saying on social media: “Richard Madeley has literally just said on @GMB "God helps those who help themselves" in relation to cost of living crisis.
“So all those people doing their best across Britain to keep heads above water can expect a cheque in the post off God to cover 54% increase in energy costs”.
Another said: “Richard Madeley, God is NOT going to turn around and let me step out of my wheelchair, rid me of my chronic pain and CFS/ME, in order for me to go back to work … Think before you speak!”
While a third added: “God helps those who help themselves!! FFS Madeley!!”
The GMB anchor had been hosting a discussion between commentators, Femi Oluwole and Sophie Corcoran about the MPs comments.
Ms Oluwole criticised the minister for the comments, saying: “The government is the reason why things are as bad as they are. They're the reason the people that cut the benefits and the people that have chosen to tax working people”.
But Ms Corcoran said: “This lockdown that you approved of is the reason why we have this cost of living crisis”.