COLA survey results for U.K. coming soon
January 11, 2007
Updated Cost-of-Living-Allowance rates for the United Kingdom most likely will be released within the next month based on results of a survey of active-duty servicemembers, an official said.
“We are anticipating the results in the near-term, but the Per Diem Committee is still in the evaluation process,” according to Maj. Norm Dozier, commander of the 48th Comptroller Squadron at RAF Lakenheath.
Dozier said the results of the survey had been scheduled to come out sometime in early 2007.
Once the results are analyzed, COLA could increase, decrease or remain at current rates in the U.K. The rates also could fluctuate because of the exchange rate until the next survey, Dozier wrote in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.
The survey, known as a Living Pattern Survey, is used to determine the percentage of on-base and off-base shopping as well as which off-base stores and services servicemembers use most often.
It gathers data on dozens of items such as food, clothing, phone and Internet service, transportation, entertainment and other products and services. In general, the higher the proportion of on-base shopping, the less money troops will receive to shop off base.
The survey, which is conducted every three years, was conducted online and was open to any servicemember stationed in the UK. There were 4,798 responses, Dozier said.
There are about 9,300 active-duty airmen in the United Kingdom.
The communities of RAFs Lakenheath and Mildenhall had the majority of responses with more than 3,500, he added.
As part of the survey, the Per Diem Committee broke down the U.K. into nine areas and evaluated each one separately, Dozier said.
The areas are RAFs Lakenheath / Mildenhall; RAFs Alconbury / Molesworth; RAF Fairford; RAF Menwith Hill / Harrogate; RAF Daws Hill / High Wycombe; London; St. Mawgan; Digby; and Yeovilton.
Matt Millham contributed to this story.