In June, we reported on the PACOM Quality of Life Department’s announcement that Hawaii’s active duty military community would have their Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) decreased by 8 points beginning July 1, 2015 with full implementation of the cut on August 1, 2015.
Cost of Living Allowance is intended to equalize purchasing power so that servicemembers can buy the same level of goods and services as they would at a CONUS base. CONUS or the “contiguous United States” consists of the 48 adjoining states plus Washington D.C.
For Oahu, the COLA decrease translates to officers seeing a $4K-$5K annual reduction and enlisted personnel seeing a $3K-$4K reduction annually.
Our blog post called for concerned servicemembers, spouses, family members, and citizens, who felt that the daily necessity purchases here in Hawaii had not decreased, to contact Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in an effort to repeal the PACOM committee’s decision.
Rep. Gabbard heard from over 140 voices and has raised her concerns about the decrease on behalf of Hawaii’s service men and women. Rep. Gabbard has requested a reevaluation of the COLA determination for Oahu, Maui, and Kauai in a letter to the Director of the Defense Travel Management Office.
See Rep. Gabbard’s letter to the DTMO below:
Mahalo to Rep. Gabbard for her continued work on this important COLA matter. Hawaii VA Loans will continue to keep you updated on the progress of her request.