The Newstart allowance is just under $245 dollars a week. That's less than half the minimum wage of $606.40, below the $470.00 poverty line for a single working adult and $103 less than the disability and aged pension of $347.65 a week.
By just about every measure - it's a pittance.
Now, a senate inquiry is looking at whether the dole should be lifted.
In real terms, the dole hasn't risen since the early 90s. The Australia Institute's Executive Director, Richard Dennis argues it is time it did.
But under the stewardship of Minister Bill Shorten, the Government believes the dole should stay low, to discourage recipients from slipping into a state of welfare dependency.More stories from Today Tonight
Others argue for a higher dole that is available for a shorter time, saying a cut off date would act as a kick to the bum for those lacking motivation to find work.
Tania, a mother, says a welfare cut off date would simply see her and her family living on the streets.Should unemployment benefits be lifted by $50 a week?
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