Hardship and risk pay being reduced for soldiers in Afghan and Middle East

OTTAWA – Canadian military personnel in operations in Afghanistan and the Middle East will be receiving smaller paycheques beginning next week.

Department of National Defence spokeswoman Cmdr. Nathalie Garcia says hardship and risk allowances for about 980 personnel are being reduced April 15 following new assessments of the conditions the troops face.

Garcia said Tuesday that soldiers deployed for the first time in Afghanistan will now receive $848 a month for hardship and risk — down from $1,356 — and an additional foreign service premium of $759 per month.

Those with previous tours will receive more, depending on the number of months they have been deployed.

Additionally, they receive a tax relief benefit for the entire period of their deployment, adding up to in excess of $14,000 over six months.

Garcia said that the allowances are not subject to deficit reduction initiatives but are reassessed annually based on input from deployed military personnel.

There are approximately 930 personnel deployed on Operation Attention in Afghanistan, and another 50 on Operations Proteus, Jade, and Calumet — regional missions based in the Middle East — but Garcia could not say by how much their hardship and risk allowances would change.

Allowances also vary depending on the number of months a Canadian Forces member has been deployed.

The hardship allowance has seven levels — ranging from “mildly uncomfortable” to “very austere” — for which Canadian Forces members receive an additional $170 to $1,017 per month.

The risk allowance has five levels ranging from “no additional risk” to “high and constant risk,” for which a deployed soldier receives an extra $678 per month.


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