10 Jan 2007

France welcomes changes to civil servants benefits in the Pacific

10:09 am on 10 January 2007

The French Parliament has sent a representative to New Caledonia and French Polynesia to investigate large tax benefits granted to French public servants and pensioners.

These benefits, sometimes referred to as over pension were introduced about fifty four years ago as a temporary measure for French civil servants and military personnel.

Pacnews reports that in mid November 2006, the French government's budget ministry slammed the cost of those overseas pensioners.

The French National Assembly's finance commission secretary, Jean-Pierre Brard, has arrived in French Polynesia, where he will meet key players in the local social, political and economic fields.

He says part of his mission is to asses what the main factors are that contribute to the high cost of living.

The French national MP says he intends to interview close to 200 individuals in New Caledonia and French Polynesia

and is then expected to submit a report and recommendations to the French lower house committee.