28 Dec 2005

New Caledonia lawmakers approve US$1.1bn budget

2:13 pm on 28 December 2005

New Caledonia's territorial Congress has has endorsed a US$1.1 billion budget for 2006.

The appropriation bill was backed by 30 of the 54 MPs, including New Caledonia's ruling coalition and a handful of MPs from the anti-independence National Front, as well as the pro-independence party Union Calédonienne.

The budget was approved in spite of opposition from the former pro-French ruling party, and nine pro-independence MPs.

The 2006 budget is said to have been designed in a generally favourable economic climate, with high expectations on a nickel-related boom.