Cost-of-living allowances for U.S. troops went up Thursday across most of Europe, with one glaring exception: the allowance went down across most of the United Kingdom.

The allowance — designed to help offset the high cost of living abroad — went up across the board in Germany and Belgium. It also went up all over Italy, with the exception of La Maddalena and Vicenza, where rates were stagnant.

Rates were flat in three regions in the Netherlands - Volkel, Coevorden and the Province of Limburg — but went up everywhere else in the country.

In the U.K., Mildenhall, Menwith Hill, London and Alconbury saw their allowances go down, while some other places, such as St. Mawgan and Salisbury saw no change.

A COLA index is used as a guideline to determine how much allowance servicemembers receive. Actual cash amounts they get depend on duty station, rank, time in service and number of dependents.

For example, in Stuttgart, Germany, an E-6 with 10 years’ experience and three dependents would see a daily increase in the COLA from $26.92 to $28.71, or about $55 this month. In London, a servicemember in the same situation would see the allowance drop from $64.60 to $62.80, or about $44 a month.

In Belgium, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, the rate adjustments were the result of an exchange rate adjustment, according to the Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee Web site.

In the United Kingdom, the changes were based on both new cost data and a foreign exchange rate adjustment, according to the committee.

For a full explanation of the COLA and to check out the new rates, visit the allowance committee’s Web site at:

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