The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) received a high public approval rating since its launch in March 2020. Despite the nuances that cropped up, there’s every reason for Canadians to cheer the program’s extension. Eight more weeks of payment means an additional $4,000 to hapless citizens.
COVID-19 is still around threatening the health and safety of people. Without CERB, millions will wallow in financial misery. Thus, the federal government deems it necessary to lengthen the $500 monthly payment from 16 weeks to 24 weeks.
Ipsos Public Affairs conducted an exclusive poll to determine people’s reception on the taxable benefit for employees and workers affected by COVID-19. Canadians seldom agree to government actions. For CERB, a substantial majority or 86% agree the program has done a remarkable job of preventing financial disaster.
The high approval rating indicates that Canadians are grateful for the government’s help. CERB recipients can use emergency cash to spend on the basics like groceries, medicine, and transportation. For others, the payments are more than they made before COVID-19 shut down business operations and workplaces.
CERB was primarily set up to serve as a temporary stop-gap for people unable to work or are working fewer hours due to COVID-19. Thus, recipients should understand that income assistance will wind down soon. If more people can return to work, it would lessen the burden on an expensive baggage like CERB and other government subsidy programs.
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Public consensus to make CERB a universal income program is likewise gaining momentum. It will be an issue in the next federal election. In the meantime, creating a perpetual universal basic income is possible. You don’t need big bucks to invest in dividend stocks. A capital of $12,000 (CERB equivalent) can be your initial investment.
Crombie (TSX:CRR.UN) is attracting income-investors because of its high dividends. This $2.08 billion real estate investment trust (REIT) is yielding 6.77%. Your $12,000 can purchase roughly 911 shares ($13.17 per share). The corresponding passive income is $812.40.
This particular REIT doesn’t have COVID-19-impaired businesses such as gyms, restaurants, and movie theatres as tenants. Crombie gives you an advantage because almost 60% of tenants are grocery stores like Sobeys and Safeway. Aside from these supermarkets, other tenants providing essential services are banks and pharmacies.
REIT investors are pseudo-landlords. In Crombie, you will partly own 285 properties offering a total of 18 million square feet of leasing space. A couple of years from now, the asset value will increase with the completion of its redevelopment program.
When the economy gets rolling again, expect Crombie to convert the grocery store sites into mixed-use facilities, including residential apartments.
The CERB has provided much-needed relief for millions of Canadians in the past few difficult months. The new eight-week extension is great news for those who need it the most. That extra $4,000 could go a long way for those who have lost their jobs during these trying times.
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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Christopher Liew has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.