Federal Daily News
White House budget includes 1.6 percent military pay hike
Despite tight spending constraints, servicemembers would get a 1.6 percent increase next year in basic pay and see hikes in housing and subsistence allowances under President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget request released on Feb. 14.
The military largely escapes the sweeping budget reductions, including a five-year freeze on domestic spending, contained in Obama’s $3.7 trillion budget request for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. DoD would take a small 2.9 percent reduction under the Obama plan, which asks for $671 billion in DoD spending for FY 2012, about $20 billion less than the estimated spending level for this year.
In addition to the increase in military pay, the budget provides for the basic allowance for housing to rise 4.2 percent, and the basic allowance for subsistence to increase by 3.4 percent.
As part of the blueprint, Obama asked for $142.8 billion in military personnel funding for 2.3 million servicemembers. The budget request also supports personnel through the $204.4 billion operation and maintenance funding category for readiness, training and operating support.
Under the budget, the military’s end strength also would grow slightly, compared to 2007, DoD said. The Army’s end strength will be 547,000, the Marine’s, 202,100, the Navy, 325,000, and the Air Force, 332,800. The 2012 end strength would help the services meet the goal of one year deployed and two years at home. DoD officials said this “dwell time” is crucial to the health of the force.
The budget also calls for a modest premium increase for working-age military retirees enrolled in the TRICARE Prime military health plan. The budget seeks increases of $2.50 per month for individuals and $5 per month for families in FY 2012; afterward, the premiums would be indexed to Medicare inflation.
And, the budget provides funding for child care space for more than 200,000 children, as well as funding for family support centers and morale, welfare and recreation programs. The budget funds the education of almost 95,000 students at DoD Education Activity schools in 12 countries.
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