Defense secretary announces new policies to help military members with rising cost of living

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US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin listens during the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee connected  Defense astatine  the US Capitol connected  May 3, 2022 successful  Washington, DC.

CNN  — 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced a bid of argumentation changes to assistance subject work members and their families woody with rising housing, nutrient and childcare costs amid high inflation.

While President Joe Biden’s projected fund for the Department of Defense includes a 4.6% wage summation for subject work members starting January 1, 2023, the existent yearly user ostentation complaint successful the US stands astatine 8.3%.

Many of the argumentation changes Austin announced volition spell into effect successful October. They see changes to lodging allowances for active-duty work members, changes to policies astir imperishable alteration of presumption moves work members are required to marque for their postings and further programs for childcare and employment of subject spouses.

“Our Service members and families indispensable beryllium capable to unafraid affordable basal needs. It is simply a substance of bedrock fiscal information and a captious idiosyncratic readiness issue,” Austin said successful a memo to elder Pentagon leaders and Combatant Commanders announcing the argumentation changes connected Thursday.

Some of the argumentation changes Austin is implementing came from ideas from subject work members themselves, and each of them are a “direct response” to what Austin has heard from subject work members and their families “over the past 20 months,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said.

“Over the past 20 months, the Secretary has met with work members crossed the state and astir the world,” Ryder said. “Today’s actions are a nonstop effect of what the Secretary has heard from our work members. Some of these initiatives are ideas that came straight from the force, and they bespeak his committedness to the families who sacrifice each time successful bid to serve.”

Austin directed an automatic summation successful basal lodging allowance for active-duty work members successful the 28 subject lodging areas successful the US that person experienced “an mean of much than 20% spike successful rental lodging costs this year,” Austin said successful the memo.

Austin besides directed a alteration successful however agelong work members are eligible for impermanent lodging expenses to beryllium covered erstwhile they indispensable marque a imperishable alteration of presumption move, oregon a required determination for their subject work posting, starting successful October. Austin accrued the impermanent lodging disbursal sum from 10 days to 14 days for moves wrong the continental US. DoD volition present besides let up to 60 days of impermanent lodging disbursal sum “if a work subordinate is successful a specified subject lodging country with a lodging shortage,” the memo stated.

During these moves, work members besides get a dislocation allowance. For work members who are fertile E-1 done E-6, the dislocation allowance volition present beryllium paid “automatically 1 period anterior to their determination day to preempt out-of-pocket expenses,” the memo stated. This volition spell into effect successful October.

Austin besides directed subject commissaries to “cut prices astatine the register, with the extremity of achieving astatine slightest a 25% savings connected market bills compared to the section marketplace,” helium wrote.

For subject work members and their families whose gross household income is beneath the 130% national poorness line level, the DoD volition wage them a basal needs allowance starting successful January, the memo said.

This allowance is “designed” to bring these work members and families “back up to that level,” Department of Defense Director of Military Compensation Jeri Bush said. The allowance volition alteration based connected the families’ needs.

To assistance with “childcare shortages affecting the full country,” the Department is instituting a “minimum 50% worker discount for the archetypal child” of subject household members who enactment astatine 1 of the military’s kid improvement programme facilities “to assistance pull much talented unit and to summation capacity,” according to the memo. This caller discount volition spell into effect successful October.

To assistance summation subject spousal employment, the section volition “launch a caller vocation accelerator aviator initiative” successful January “that volition lucifer subject spouses with paid backstage assemblage fellowships successful a assortment of vocation paths,” the memo stated.

All of these measures are aimed astatine helping subject families arsenic they woody with rising costs of ostentation impacting housing, nutrient and jobs crossed the country.

“We stay profoundly committed to doing close by our subject families, conscionable arsenic our subject families stay profoundly committed to their loved ones and to the Nation that they each bash truthful overmuch to defend,” Austin said successful the memo.

Austin volition person “regular updates” connected the initiatives, according to the memo.

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