Ottawa: The Canadian armed forces are under fire for its plans to cut the Cost of Living Allowances of thousands of troops without prior notice.

Last week, the army announced that the 7,700 members of the armed forces would not receive the Cost of Living Allowance in July. It was also said that a new housing benefit is being brought for those who need more help, which will be more beneficial.

Social media and online forums dedicated to military personnel have expressed dissatisfaction over the plan. At the same time, some have objections to the timeline of this plan.

Apart from this, some are also not happy with the 10 percent increase in salary over a period of four years.

Experts say that the lack of notice only shows how the military treats its own people. “We are making people angry,” said Lt. Gen. Guy Thibault, a former vice chief of the Defence Staff and now retired. It is not about the army compensating its people, it is about understanding the true value of its people. With such decisions, members of the army do not feel that their work is being properly valued.

The decision to replace the military’s existing Cost of Living Allowances with a new housing benefit is the result of a 14-year conflict between the Department of National Defense and the Treasury Board (the central department that controls federal spending).

It is worth mentioning that it was started in the year 2000 to compensate members for living and working in some communities.

But in 2009, the increase in the allowance rate was stopped. Then a fight broke out between the defence and treasury officials over the cost and parameters of the programme. Experts say that the members felt that the matter would be resolved and the deal in this regard would also be finalized soon. The members were also hopeful that it would be made better. But that didn’t happen.

It is also being said that without taking the members into confidence and without any consultation, decision has been forced on the army. Along with this, the housing benefit is also being evaluated. It is also being complained by the members that the new increase in salary cannot get rid of inflation.

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