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$500/Week CERB Extended 8 Weeks for an Extra $4,000

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) should be winding down in July 2020 as the economy revives. But because recovery won’t be instantaneous, the nightmare continues for millions of jobless Canadians. Income support is still necessary if jobs are scarce or returning to work is not yet possible.

Without a replacement program, the only choice left is to extend CERB. The federal government did what was necessary. People maxing out their taxable benefits can apply to receive an extra $4,000 or $500 per week for another eight weeks.

Rationale

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recognizes that a lot of people still need pandemic money to pay their bills. About 16.2 million have yet to find work. Between February and April, 32% of employed Canadians worked fewer hours.

CERB payments are beneficial to the economy too. The financial relief supports regular consumer spending. Every time you spend your CERB, you provide income to another person. The economy churns when there is money to pay for rent or groceries.

Downside

The CERB extension is not without disadvantages, however. A person can receive more money by not working than working. You are ineligible to receive CERB if you earn more than $1,000 a month. Thus, an employed person can end up with less money during the pandemic.

In a way, CERB is an incentive not to work or discourages people from going back to work. Others will decline a job offer that pays less than the CERB. As such, employers are having problems finding workers to fill vacant shifts. The program somehow penalizes people for finding a job rather than rewarding them.

Private CERB

An emergency measure like CERB has a prescribed period and, therefore, not limitless. After the pandemic, you can start saving and investing in creating an enduring income by yourself. If you have the resources today, now is a good time to invest.

WPT Industrial (TSX:WIR.U) is excellent for dividend earners. This $1.1 billion real estate investment not only pays high dividends but is also in the right space. The REIT owns and manages a portfolio of institutional-quality industrial properties in the U.S.  At present, WPT has 102 industrial properties but should be growing post-pandemic.

The dramatic shift to e-commerce favours industrial REITs. Retailers in the U.S. would need more warehouse space. Many of the tenants in WPT’s properties in 20 states are mostly suppliers to essential businesses. The occupancy rate in the $2.3 billion worth of Gross Assets is a high 97.7%, while the average lease term is 4.7 years.

WPT’s revenue and net income in 2019 grew by 24.6% and 95.3%, respectively, versus the prior year. The current share price is $13.11, with a dividend yield of 5.77%. A $10,000 investment will generate $577 in extra income.

What’s next?

Extending CERB’s life will alleviate the financial hardships of millions by eight more weeks. The extra $4,000 will go a long way. Meanwhile, there must be ways to redesign the program or maybe introduce a replacement.

The federal government needs to come up with something after the CERB extension. Otherwise, you won’t see the end of the program. People might stay home and not seek employment anymore.

Speaking of CERB extension...

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