The Federalist News Network reported this week that members of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee have finished their mark-up of the 2023 defense authorization bill.
Among the bill’s provisions is a 4.6% pay raise for those in uniform. However, critics say that given the spike in inflation, this figure actually amounts to a pay cut.
Advocacy group says pay isn’t keeping up with rising costs
One of those critics is Jennifer Akin who serves as co-director of research at Blue Star Families, an organization which purports to “empower” the families of service members.
“Military families are subjected to the same inflationary pressures as their civilian counterparts and they are doing it with far fewer structures of support, and they’re doing it often on a single income,” Akin told the Federalist News Network.
“Even if a service member’s pay is keeping up with inflation, that doesn’t solve long-standing issues with military spouse unemployment and underemployment,” she explained.
Akin went on to point out how such raises “doesn’t solve the compounding costs of multiple relocations, and those things just add up over time.”
“Even if pay is keeping up with the rate of inflation that is not accounting for some of these other variables that can make it difficult to gain leverage on your own [in] finding long-term financial stability,” she complained.
Sharpest inflation spike in 40 years
However, the website also spoke with an unnamed committee staff member who indicated that the proposed pay raise could be reevaluated.
“We’re certainly concerned about inflation,” the individual said. “We’ll continue to look at that. I think right now, our understanding is 4.6% is what we have.”
“Until we make it further congressional action on this, we don’t know if we will or not, but 4.6% is the pay increase right now.”
Inflationary pressures aren’t just being felt by service members and their families, as Fox Business reported on Friday that consumer prices have seen their sharpest rise in over four decades.
What’s more, gas prices have shown a dramatic spike. According to the American Automobile Association, the national average price for a gallon of gas exceeded $5 on Saturday.