Military families at the Edmonton Garrison are worried special
allowances for Canadian Forces personnel may be on the chopping block in
the upcoming federal budget.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the House of Commons last week
there's been no decision whether to cut or maintain a cost of living
allowance called the post living differential or the monthly land duty
allowance given some members of the military. The budget is scheduled
for March 29th.
Rhonda Draeger of Edmonton wants to know why the government is eyeing
the possibility of cutting some subsdies that military families rely
"If they do away with the PLD and the land duty allowance we're going
to be missing close to $1,300 per month, and that's substantial for a
family," Draeger said. Her husband has been a solider for 23 years,
serving two tours in Afghanistan.
But due to a waiting list for affordable housing at the Edmonton
Garrison the couple and their three children live off the military base —
and that's becoming more expensive. "We don't choose where we live, we
go where military sends us, so the fact that we get an allowance to
offset the cost of where we live, is extremely important."
The cost to taxpayers to provide military families with the subsidies is about $150-million annually.
"It's a lot of money," Draeger admits. "But there's a cost to pay for our freedom — these guys defend it every day."
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