NEWS

Congress Considers 1.3 Percent Pay Raise for Service Members

Members of the armed services may soon see a pay raise, though the number may not be all they are hoping for next year.
Congress is considering a 1.3 percent pay raise for all service members come Jan. 1 and while the news comes as a relief to many struggling to make ends meet, some advocates say it isn’t enough.

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“For the average person in San Diego that's around $2,000 to $2,300 a month, so 1.3 percent of that that comes up to another $25 or $30 before taxes,” Tony Teravainen, president of Support the Enlisted project, said. The Support the Enlisted project help enlisted service members in need of financial help.
Teravainen said the raise will amount to something like an extra box of diapers for a family each month.

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But military families in San Diego said the cost of living in San Diego is “outrageous."
“It's not enough,” said Leticia Escamilla, the spouse of a service member. “It's so expensive to live here, and then you have besides your basic stuff like your water, electric, rent or mortgage, then, you know, you still got groceries and schools and if you want your kids play sports and that cost a lot of money.”
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Teravainen says while many don’t join the military because of its pay, the pay does impact how they feel about their service, especially when the private sector will have an average pay raise of 2.2 percent.
“A lot of these people are already struggling to try to make their low income wage work in the countries fourth highest economy so it's a challenge on a daily basis and this isn't going to give them a lot of relief,” he said.
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Some people said military members should be happy with a raise given how many people don't have jobs, but many echoed the need for higher wages.
“I think the military deserves more because they work hard, they have their families here and they need to take care of them while they're out to war and doing their job, so I think more than 1 percent is good, but they need more, they really do,” said Escamilla.
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