A leading trade union has renewed its call for an increase in the welfare benefit for unemployed Australians.
The Gillard government is under pressure from welfare groups to increase the Newstart payment after it transferred 63,700 single parents previously eligible for parenting payments to the $246 weekly benefit on January 1.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union says Newstart keeps the jobless in poverty and makes it difficult for them to find a job.
"On 35 bucks a day you can barely feed and clothe yourself, let alone pay rent or a mortgage, catch public transport or drive a car to a job interview," national secretary Paul Bastian said in a statement on Thursday.
The union, in a submission to last year's parliamentary inquiry on the adequacy of Newstart, said the benefit was critical to the dignity of people who find themselves out of work.
"The government should up the Newstart allowance for all people, particularly for those single parents who have recently had their benefits cut and have been placed on the dole," Mr Bastian said on Thursday.