Labour Party leader Phil Goff has waded into the debate about whether or not people affected by the economic downturn should be able to collect the full unemployment benefit even if their partners are still working.

Dr Susan St John of Auckland University and Keith Rankin of Unitec say the current dole system is based on "outmoded social concepts" such as assuming that everyone lives in single-income families where dad goes out to work and mum stays home with the children.

On this basis, the unemployment benefit is clawed back by 70c for every dollar earned above $80 a week by either the main earner or their partner. This means anyone with a partner earning more than $534 a week cannot get even a partial benefit.

Should you be able to get the dole if your partner is still working?