Canindia News
HEADLINE Pradip Rodrigues

CERB has given the exploited class a much-needed reprieve

PRADIP RODRIGUES
[email protected]

There is growing evidence to suggest that many small-business owners in the service sector are finding it difficult to get their employees to come back to work. A news report announced that many restaurants that need help with takeout and delivery wanted to hire back staff they initially laid off, but some employees were declining the jobs. The reason being is that they don’t want to lose the $2,000 CERB. Many of these ‘insubordinate’ employees possibly earn minimum wage with no benefits. They also probably work part-time depending on the needs of the business. And on average many of them may possibly be earning between $1,500 and $2,500 a month, so who could blame them for not wanting to work weekends and evenings when they could be home watching Netflix and getting $2,000 through CERB? Now if they had jobs paying them a whole lot more along with generous medical benefits and paid vacation, it is unlikely they would risk losing their jobs. They would gladly ditch the free cash coming their way. It must however be noted that employees making under $1,000 a month could still qualify for CERB.
Going forward, it would be great if the government provided a form of income supplement for those working at part-time minimum wage jobs. They would receive that supplement only if they continued working. It would be a great way to reduce inequality and poverty. Given the fact that renting or owning a home gobbles up a fair amount of one’s earnings, it would not be a bad idea to help those at the bottom of the food chain get a leg up.
While on the topic of CERB, over 7 million Canadians have applied so far. This $2,000 a month payment is meant to help the unemployed and cash-strapped make ends meet during these difficult times. So I was rather puzzled when I heard that many Canadians who haven’t been laid off temporarily or lost their jobs have also applied for CERB. There seems to be a loophole or a misunderstanding because some of these people earning six-figure salaries have part-time businesses or jobs which they use mostly for tax-write off purposes. They are claiming the CERB for their part-time job that isn’t generating any income while collecting their full paycheck from their primary jobs. To me this is plain unethical. It is as bad as a person using a food bank to get free groceries so he or she can save money. It is ridiculous if a couple earning a combined income of $160,000 and haven’t lost their jobs are also claiming CERB.

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