As the cost of living continues to rise, more of you are coming to AFF with your concerns. AFF’s Policy & Research Director Michelle Alston explains what AFF has been doing with some of the common questions you have been asking…

Has AFF seen an increase in enquiries recently about the cost of living?

Yes, and you’ve reported a range of issues, such as the cost of moving overseas, the difficulties of only having one income, issues getting the MOD Wraparound Childcare scheme approved or not being eligible, and struggling to maintain spousal employment as a result.

What are the unique issues that are affecting families?

The rising cost of living is affecting the whole population, so AFF is keen to understand those issues that are due to the nature of service life.

We’re aware of families experiencing difficulties transferring utility contracts when posted, resulting in direct debit costs increasing on moving to a new quarter. Whilst any civilian family moving would also have the same issue, we are concerned about the impact of frequent moves on army families.

We are also seeing families contact us about living in quarters that are poorly insulated or maintained. Some families have reported that there are no thermostats on their radiators, increasing costs. We also know that old, inefficient or poorly maintained boilers use more fuel and there are concerns about the impact on their energy bills whilst they await a repair.

Families are also raising the broader impacts. These include their need to rely on paid childcare, as they don’t live near wider family and their soldier not being able to help. Also, the lack of access to NHS dental care often means army families having to seek private treatment or travel back to their old dentist, with travel affected by rising fuel costs.

How is AFF raising these issues and with whom?

In many of our regular meetings with the chain of command, both within the army and MOD, the cost of living is at the top of their agenda, and we’ve also been asked to provide evidence by different HQs and present at meetings considering these issues.

Is there any good news to share as a result of AFF’s work?

Yes, travel allowances and commuting were reviewed and Home to Duty and Get You Home Travel were increased by 7 per cent from August to reflect rising fuel costs. Guidance was also released so that many families could access the council tax rebate.

What else would AFF like to see done?

We are talking to the chain of command about what small but effective changes commanders can make. For example, for PT to start slightly later so that service personnel don’t have to pay for breakfast club at nursery. We’d also like to see personnel and families provided with clear information about what financial support they may be entitled to.

How can families make sure they’re getting all the allowances and support they’re entitled to?

Check the government benefit calculators so that you and your family are claiming all that you’re able to.

Discover My Benefits is another good tool. It doesn’t just detail MOD allowances but flexible working and Flexible Service, which may help you return to work or increase your hours.

For the latest information, see

How do families feed in?

We always welcome your feedback – email

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