Late adjustment is costly for U.K.
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Updated cost-of-living allowance indexes across the United Kingdom dropped by four points Thursday from their projected numbers as the result of a late adjustment.
A report in Stars and Stripes’ UK Weekly, which came out Wednesday, said that COLA indexes for many troops stationed in the U.K. would stay put and would raise only for smaller, remote base communities following results of a Living Pattern Survey.
However, the Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee recalculated the data because of a recent rise in the U.S. dollar against the British pound, according to Maj. Norm Dozier, commander of the 48th Comptroller Squadron at RAF Lakenheath.
“The currency fluctuation adjustment that hit basically negated the recent U.K. COLA Survey adjustment,” Dozier said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.
In October, about 4,800 troops in the U.K. took the Living Pattern Survey, which evaluates the spending habits of servicemembers and their families once every three years, Dozier said. About 9,300 active-duty servicemembers are assigned to U.K. locations.
Data from a Retail Price Schedule, used to estimate the local economy’s inflation, also helped determine the current indexes, Dozier said.