LOA Reduction

#1
LOA for BFG is about to be reduced by up to 20%.

This is an outrage, but before the UK warriors start the cliched arguements against LOA, a few things to remember:

1. Spouses salries are pitiful overseas, even the good jobs earn a little over €1100 (£750pcm), I know LOA isn't designed to compensate spouses incomes, but its a considerable step down from £20K a yr to £9K!

2. Everyday items eg. newspapers are virtually double UK price, eg. times €2.20, GQ/FHM €6.50.

3. Whilst cars are cheaper to buy because they are tax free, running costs (excl petrol) are much higher. They are only a few authorised insurance companies due to BFG regulations (eg all big UK companies are invlaid, Tescos, Direct Line etc). Euro headlights, and as from this yr winter tyres are mandatory, total cost of over €1000.

4. Banking is far more expensive. To withdraw cash from a UK account costs around £4 per time, german banks charge whether you're in credit or not.

5. Telephones and internet are not only expensive, but the service is very poor. Plus schemes such as free minutes are invalid for UK based friends and family.

6. Whilst Booze and Smokes are generally much cheaper - great if you smoke and drink. I do neither!

7. The arguement being used to reduce LOA stems from less people using baby sitters than the last time the survey was completed. A nonsensical arguement.

The overall message is, if you're nominated for the LOA survey, take it seriously and remember to add anything that you may feel is relevant.
Comments welcomed, particularly from the snr management who are driving this.
 
#2
I agree. Having seen the propaganda spread by the voice of the MOD in Germany (aka Sixth Sense) it seems that 20% of LOA is attributable to child care. Absolute ARRSE! This has got 'cost cutting' all over it and it's a shame those who hold the purse strings haven't got the balls to say so!
 
#3
Roger.

Like 6th sense is ever going to publish anything remotely controversial - full of wet thank you letters etc!

It was the same when they changed the new car rules, I know of 5 people (all Snrs/offrs) that wrote to that high quality paper exclaiming outrage.

Not one was published.

Instead, its full of pictures of our favourite Clive Dunn lookalike handing out large, comedy, oversized cheques to somebody or other!
 
#4
The chiefs would not have got away with cutting the equivalent of LOA for uncivil servants if they were not planning to cut LOA for the Army. :x

Of course its a cost cutting measure :evil:

Glad I'm now back in the UK :D
 
#5
Maybe its a long term plan to soften the blow for when the announcement is made to withdraw tps from Germany?
 
#8
LOA for BFG is about to be reduced by up to 20%.

This is an outrage, but before the UK warriors start the cliched arguements against LOA, a few things to remember:

1. Spouses salries are pitiful overseas, even the good jobs earn a little over €1100 (£750pcm), I know LOA isn't designed to compensate spouses incomes, but its a considerable step down from £20K a yr to £9K!

Depends on the wifeys job really but i've known wives to earn more than hubby whilst in BFG.

2. Everyday items eg. newspapers are virtually double UK price, eg. times €2.20, GQ/FHM €6.50.

Yes papers cost more but that's because you are paying transportation costs which is already factored into the LOA system. If you really need FHM then get a subscription it's cheaper and is delivered to BFPO adresses at no extra cost

3. Whilst cars are cheaper to buy because they are tax free, running costs (excl petrol) are much higher. They are only a few authorised insurance companies due to BFG regulations (eg all big UK companies are invlaid, Tescos, Direct Line etc). Euro headlights, and as from this yr winter tyres are mandatory, total cost of over €1000.

Insurance is only high if you have no no claims and a flash car. You don't buy new headlights every month. If you bought new it would have come with european lamps. If you bought localy it will have them already. Nobody said you have to have a car. Albingia were always competitivly priced. Which £1000 winter tyres are you buying? 22inch ones for a Ferrari

4. Banking is far more expensive. To withdraw cash from a UK account costs around £4 per time, german banks charge whether you're in credit or not.

Would make sense to have a german account and have an allotment to your UK account. Plenty of Cash machines in the UK charge for withdrawals also.

5. Telephones and internet are not only expensive, but the service is very poor. Plus schemes such as free minutes are invalid for UK based friends and family.

Subscribe to the call back services they're cheap as chips and will work on mobiles as well. The internet is a luxury really and doesn't factor into LOA

6. Whilst Booze and Smokes are generally much cheaper - great if you smoke and drink. I do neither!

Not the only duty free items though are they.

7. The arguement being used to reduce LOA stems from less people using baby sitters than the last time the survey was completed. A nonsensical arguement.

I very much doubt that is the reason for the proposed reduction in LOA

The overall message is, if you're nominated for the LOA survey, take it seriously and remember to add anything that you may feel is relevant.
Comments welcomed, particularly from the snr management who are driving this.

Good advice but year after year knobheads fill the form in saying it pays for their new car etc

I always found it cheaper to live in BFG than in the UK. Have you never noticed that all the tax free cars dissapear not long after a unit is posted back to the UK because some of the owners couldn't afford to run them. How many squaddies moonlight to driving or security agencies to supliment their income when in the UK. Sorry but you'll find soldiers are financialy worse off when posted in the UK. It still a raw deal when allowances get reduced but it's not the first time it's happened. I beleive the singlies won't have their LOA reduced as their families etc are in the UK.
 
#9
WOOFFY said:
LOA for BFG is about to be reduced by up to 20%.

This is an outrage, but before the UK warriors start the cliched arguements against LOA, a few things to remember:

1. Spouses salries are pitiful overseas, even the good jobs earn a little over €1100 (£750pcm), I know LOA isn't designed to compensate spouses incomes, but its a considerable step down from £20K a yr to £9K!

Depends on the wifeys job really but i've known wives to earn more than hubby whilst in BFG.

2. Everyday items eg. newspapers are virtually double UK price, eg. times €2.20, GQ/FHM €6.50.

Yes papers cost more but that's because you are paying transportation costs which is already factored into the LOA system. If you really need FHM then get a subscription it's cheaper and is delivered to BFPO adresses at no extra cost

3. Whilst cars are cheaper to buy because they are tax free, running costs (excl petrol) are much higher. They are only a few authorised insurance companies due to BFG regulations (eg all big UK companies are invlaid, Tescos, Direct Line etc). Euro headlights, and as from this yr winter tyres are mandatory, total cost of over €1000.

Insurance is only high if you have no no claims and a flash car. You don't buy new headlights every month. If you bought new it would have come with european lamps. If you bought localy it will have them already. Nobody said you have to have a car. Albingia were always competitivly priced. Which £1000 winter tyres are you buying? 22inch ones for a Ferrari

4. Banking is far more expensive. To withdraw cash from a UK account costs around £4 per time, german banks charge whether you're in credit or not.

Would make sense to have a german account and have an allotment to your UK account. Plenty of Cash machines in the UK charge for withdrawals also.

5. Telephones and internet are not only expensive, but the service is very poor. Plus schemes such as free minutes are invalid for UK based friends and family.

Subscribe to the call back services they're cheap as chips and will work on mobiles as well. The internet is a luxury really and doesn't factor into LOA

6. Whilst Booze and Smokes are generally much cheaper - great if you smoke and drink. I do neither!

Not the only duty free items though are they.

7. The arguement being used to reduce LOA stems from less people using baby sitters than the last time the survey was completed. A nonsensical arguement.

I very much doubt that is the reason for the proposed reduction in LOA

The overall message is, if you're nominated for the LOA survey, take it seriously and remember to add anything that you may feel is relevant.
Comments welcomed, particularly from the snr management who are driving this.

Good advice but year after year knobheads fill the form in saying it pays for their new car etc

I always found it cheaper to live in BFG than in the UK. Have you never noticed that all the tax free cars dissapear not long after a unit is posted back to the UK because some of the owners couldn't afford to run them. How many squaddies moonlight to driving or security agencies to supliment their income when in the UK. Sorry but you'll find soldiers are financialy worse off when posted in the UK. It still a raw deal when allowances get reduced but it's not the first time it's happened. I beleive the singlies won't have their LOA reduced as their families etc are in the UK.
1. I'd love to know what "Wifey's Jobs" earn more than their husbands? Maybe if you're a lance jack and you're wife is a UKBC lawyer then maybe, but how many people is that?

2. You missed the point ref newspapers. That was one example of many where everyday items are far more expensive in BFG than UK. I understand the fundementals of distribution costs etc. That is exactly the reason of LOA, to offset the additional cost of the same items.

3. Banking. Again you miss the point. The idea of a Geman account with a UK allotment is fine, or should I say was fine maybe about 30 years ago when the average Offr/Soldier had neither a mortgage, car loan, credit card / debit card. I would argue that all are essential now, and german banks offer limited facilities. EG. if you have a mortgage and you rate goes up, it can take upto 3 months to change your allotment, I would argue that most people (less the BFG lifers/married to German nationals) have the majority of the salary paid into a UK account with an allotment to a German account.

4. Good advice regarding call back service - but what is it? Call the internet a luxury - get real!

5. Agreed Booze and Tabs are not the only duty free items, but the feature heavily on the LOA review, cosmetics, perfumes etc do not.

6. Ref babysitting - this is a NODUFF reason being lamented for proposed reductions - check last weeks 6th sense. Apparently people use less baby sitters now, so we don't need as much LOA to pay them???

7. Cars. You are out of touch my friend. Very few cars come with euro-lights, even prestige marques like Merc, euro lights are an additional extra. a 1.4 1998 fiesta is not prestige, yet the insurance is twice UK rate. Lights and tyres around €1000 = £600, a reasonable price.

8. LOA is not a question of supplementing your income, its there to make up the extra expense of everday items when posted abroad. Currently, i believe its the right level.
 
#10
goon_bde said:
6. Whilst Booze and Smokes are generally much cheaper - great if you smoke and drink. I do neither!
Weak. I drink heavily and I want to go back as it's f*ck*ng expensive over in UK - three pounds for a beer. Need LOA to live here.

Did a course as junior bloke on course in UK when still based in BFG. On 70% LOA and LSSA Middle rate (OK, not that much of a crow) - best paid bloke on the course by a hefty ransom.
 
#11
Agreed that spouses are paid less than in the the UK, but they do not pay tax (which is quite high in UK under successive tax rising tory and lab govts)

I comfortably saved 000s last 2 years while in BFG and bought a new car.

Life in BFG is great and the money almost takes the proverbial. it is far, far cheaper than UK. Try the german shops if NAAFI aint your thing.
 
#12
pmc_abo said:
Agreed that spouses are paid less than in the the UK, but they do not pay tax (which is quite high in UK under successive tax rising tory and lab govts)

Agreed, no tax only NI contributions. But the wages are still pitiful, its ok if you're happy for your spouse to be the dutiful army wife and earn a bit of "pin money" - doesn't cut the mustard with my frau though.

I comfortably saved 000s last 2 years while in BFG and bought a new car.

Life in BFG is great and the money almost takes the proverbial. it is far, far cheaper than UK. Try the german shops if NAAFI aint your thing.
Agreed, quality of life is generally better in BFG - I take it your happy to lose the LOA then?
 
#13
sorry but if you think its expensive to live in germany either a) you havent been based in the uk for a long time or b)you only shop and deal with bfg-approved establishments such as the naafi, natocars etc. get out and use the german facilities more. No sensible person pays for euro headlights on a new car, it is easy for spouses to earn more than husbands unless your wife can only rotate between naafi cleaner/mess cleaner/school cleaner, internet costs arent massively differnet, you just dont have as many choices of provider.


you could always put in a pref posting for catterick.
 
#14
goon_bde said:
Agreed, quality of life is generally better in BFG - I take it your happy to lose the LOA then?
Nobody is happy losing money I certainly know I don't like it but the replies are there to put it in perspective for you. Your initial post made it seem as if you would now be on the poverty line with the reduction in loa wheras we know better. I really do hope the reduction if at all is miniscule so it doesn't leave anyone out of pocket.
 
#15
I think alot of people are missing the point big time!

LOA is not an enhancement or reward for living overseas.

Its to serve the additional costs of the SAME items that you can be expected to buy when overseas, the extra cost as result of having to export them etc.

I've been in BFG long enough to acknowledge that the quality of life etc is better in BFG than UK.

However, certain items are far more expensive than in UK. The thread of the arguement was based on the cuts to LOA when living in BFG hasn't got 20% cheaper.

EG, today i bought a paper €5.10, the same paper is £1 in UK.

Its easy to quote that x is cheaper than y in BFG and, shop at Markthof not NAAFI etc, I know all of this already. The initial thread was to highlight that LOA is GOING to be cut by 20% - unjustified.

I'm still intrigued to know where Spouses can earn more than husbands - answers below please!
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#16
Well, for my tuppence worth I agree with the sentiment that it's a cost cutting ex in line with the reduction of COLA for the uncivil servants, most of whom won't be affected that much even though they are seeing a reduction of @ 40%, as they are ex serving and have a nice monthly pension to soften the blow.

It's a load of bollox that our reduction is down to child care. Mind you, if Joe Squaddie is filling in the questionnaire to the effect that his/her LOA pays for his/her new car etc, then they have given the government all the more reason to chop it. There are some right thick b*stards out there.

I rarely ever go into the NAAFI. They claim to match the prices in the German supermarkets but that's a load of tosh. You don't get the same quality either. Any fresh stuff is usually what can't be shifted at the larger NAAFIs such as JHQ or Sennelager and has a sell by date for the day of purchase or at best the following day. I wouldn't touch NATO Cars nor most of the thieves that advertise in the Sixth Sense ( a quality little read.......check out your local reporters, they certainly ain't married to LCpl Snodgrass from Mortar Pl). If you're buying a new tax free car, get a price from your local dealership back home and play that off with one or two others. You'll save hundreds if not a grand or two.

There's some great jobs out here for the Fraus.........if you serve in JHQ. Everybody else has to work for buttons or go without. The class system still applies here and we seem to be in a time warp, somewhere about 10 yrs behind UK. There are some over here who are making a killing so a cut in thier LOA won't affect them much as they lord it up over those who are serving in the Army. I was down in Bielefeld the other day.........anybody met the SSO there? Some ex WO who seems to think he was an ex Officer. Talks to ORs like they were sh*te. I'm sure there are more like him around the various Garrisons.

Overall, I would say that it's a lot better over here than back in UK. But all good things come to an end and I'll be heading back there soon enough.
 
#17
Biscuits_AB said:
check out your local reporters, they certainly ain't married to LCpl Snodgrass from Mortar Pl).
Unfortuneately most of them are, hence the level of journalistic talent in the 6th Sense that wouldn't be tolerated at the Beano.
 
#19
I cannot park my car in the NAAFI carpark because the X5s and XC 90s take up 2 parking slots, not a lot of those in Tidworth. I wonder if the LOA team may notice tis ???

I can't think of ANYTHING more expensive in Germany than UK ...and they give me lots of dosh (500 notes a month) to compensate for the extra costs !!

You need LOA in Windsor not Wegberg
 
#20
My missus had a blinding job in BFG, loads a dosh, time off, understanding management etc. (Secretarial duties) Try getting that combination in UK.

BFG: No TV licence to pay, no car tax to pay(we had 2 cars and 1 bike) Cheap as chips benzine, decent schools for the kids, cheap booze and fags, restaurants a plenty. Just for starters.

The benefits far outway the loss of 20% LOA. IMHO.
 

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