MEMBER for Mallee John Forrest has labelled a move by the Australian Greens to increase Newstart as absurd.
The Greens will move a Private Member's Bill when parliament resumes to increase the single rate of Newstart, Abstudy and the single living away from home Youth Allowance by $50 a week, and to index their growth the same way as the Aged Pension.
The Parliamentary Budget Office has calculated the $50-a-week increase to Newstart would cost $5.6 billion during the next four financial years.
It has calculated Youth Allowance and Abstudy increases to total $1.7 billion in the next four financial years.
Australian Greens acting leader Adam Bandt said changes to the mining tax could cover the cost.
"Instead of allowing society to become more 'dog eat dog', it's time the government stood up to big business and asked them to contribute this $2 billion a year we need to look after people who have fallen on tough times," he said.
"Unless the government stands up to big business and secures the country's revenue base, inequality will continue to grow.
"The government should make Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer pay their fair share and impose a new tax rate on people earning more than $1 million so that we can lift other Australians out of poverty."
Mr Forrest said he disagreed with the proposal.
"How absurd is the suggestion that we increase the dole and pay for it by taxing the employers who are providing the jobs," he said.
"This has all come about because of Jenny Macklin's comment about living on the dole.
"The dole's not there to support a lifestyle, it's there for temporary support until people can get a real job.
"That's the challenge that faces all governments."