From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Doleful existence. Greens MP Adam Bandt's pledge to live on the dole for a week starting in February could run in to trouble before he even steps out the door for his daily tram ride to work. The mortgage on Bandt's $800,000 house in the Melbourne suburb of Flemington could top out at three times the daily dole amount of $38, according to the government's helpful MoneySmart calculator. Based on a mortgage of $400,000 and an interest rate of 5.75%, Bandt would be paying over $100 a day in rent alone (although his partner may be chipping in). Either way, he won't have much left for lentils and powdered milk ...