The alternative group, chaired by Massey University social policy expert Mike O'Brien and including former Green MP Sue Bradford, says current benefits of $194 a week for a single adult or $366 for a sole parent with one child are "simply too low to live on".
In fact they receive considerably more because all parents or caregivers receive Family Tax credits for dependent children and the majority receive an Accommodation Supplement (or live in a subsidised state house).
Under the Official Information Act I asked what are the average accommodation supplement and family tax credit payments made to DPB recipients.
Calculated at the end of March 2011 the respective payments provided to me were $89 and $135.76
That totals $513.23 net
The minimum wage for a 40 hour week is $520 before tax
The new entrants or training wage for a 40 hour week is $416 before tax
You do the maths.
(Even this calculation is inadequate because it does not include other available allowances.)