Military Families Facing Much Higher Grocery Bills

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The latest Pentagon budget proposal slashes subsidies for commissaries.

U.S. military families’ grocery budgets could take a $3,000-a-year hit under a new defense budget proposal.

The proposal would cut commissary subsidies from $1.4 billion to $400 million. The 71 percent decrease would be phased in over three years, CNN Money says.

A recent Defense Commissary Agency study found that military families save 30 percent on their grocery bills by shopping at a commissary, compared with a retail grocery store. The new budget proposal would knock those savings down to 10 percent.

“It’s a huge hit for families,” Kathleen Moakler, government relations director for the National Military Family Association, told CNN. “This helps our families supplement their pay.”

This is just another hit for military families, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet. We recently told you that a record number of food stamps were used by service members and their families, both active duty and retired, in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

And Congress recently cut funding for the food stamp program, which impacts both military and civilian families.

The Pentagon’s 2015 budget “proposed the deepest and most far-reaching cuts to military compensation in the 40-year history of the all-volunteer force, explaining that such cuts are necessary in order to pay for more modern gear and high-tech weaponry,” says the Army Times.

Some highlights of the Defense Department’s budget proposal for fiscal 2015 include the first-ever rollback in Basic Allowance for Housing; a military pay raise that would match last year’s 1 percent hike, the lowest in the volunteer era; massive cuts to commissary subsidies; and potentially increased health care fees for both active-duty families and retirees.

What do you think of the Pentagon’s proposed budget? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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