Pentagon officials warned that the surge in prices has caused issues for U.S. troops and their families.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin referred to rising inflation as a “readiness issue” at a press conference Wednesday where he announced a new program to assist military families to cope with the surging prices. Included in the program are housing allowances and food security assistance.
“This is a readiness issue, and that’s why I am focused on making sure that our service members and our families have what they need to thrive,” Austin said during the press conference.
The housing allowances and other programs “won’t solve all the economic worries that our military families face, but they are important steps and we’re committed to getting this right,” Austin said. It is unclear how much money will be directed to the new programs and where the funding will come from.
“Men and women in uniform and their families have enough to worry about. Basic necessities, like food and housing, shouldn’t be among them,” Austin said.
The Pentagon will increase the allowance for homes in areas that experienced a 10% jump in rental costs during the last year, Austin said. Reimbursements for lodging expenses for military families will also be extended to allow more time to search for a home in places where housing shortages exist.
The department will create an additional program to connect struggling military members with services to assist with housing issues and food insecurity, Austin said.
Prices have surged throughout the country, with the Consumer Price Index surging to a 30 year high, growing 0.9% in October and reaching a year-over-year level of 6.2%.
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