Anyone notice the sting in the tail of this year's Pay Review Body Award? From 1 Jul 07, anyone who lives out will no longer get his first 30 days of food at public expense. You didn't read that next to the bumper-pay-award headline, did you? So a married Serviceman with 2 kids, living out, will now pay Â£3.75 per day when he is detached on a residential course. Thatâs over Â£100 per month. The Armed forces must be the only organisation in the country that charges its employees a fee to send them on a residential course. I suppose it was predicated on the savings you are supposed to make to your family's food budget when you are not there. Yet we all know it costs roughly the same to feed a family of 3 as it does for a family of 4. I know those who live in used to complain about those who live out getting 'free food' when they go away on courses. But I think that misses the point. If you live in, it costs you the same wherever you serve. If you live out, you now get charged a Â£100 food-fee to go on a residential course. By the way - I live in. But I also have married junior ranks that work for me who struggle to make ends meet as it is; they can't afford the extra cost to their monthly food-budget. Perhaps this is why they got that decent pay rise................. I think this is mean-spirited penny-pinching of the worst order. Perhaps it is an indication of why we should have a federation to negotiate our pay awards rather than relying on the AFPRB.