15 Aug 2005

New Caledonia amends flight subsidy rules

4:02 pm on 15 August 2005

The New Caledonian congress has changed rules to get a subsidised flight to Paris after a court deemed the previous regulations to be unacceptable.

The congress now requires that a traveller has lived in the territory for a year and paid less than 3,000 US dollars in tax.

The earlier rules required a traveller to have lived in New Caledonia for at least ten years to be eligible for the subsidy.

The plan had been presented as part of an effort to give substance to the concept of New Caledonian citizenship.

But an administrative tribunal in Noumea acted on an appeal by the French high commission and local groups and banned the provision.

The subsidy is graded and highest for those aged between 18 and 27 whose tickets get a 1000 US dollar discount paid from a French state fund.