8 Dec 2010

French union call for Tahiti income tax

4:01 pm on 8 December 2010

A French union leader has called for French Polynesia to introduce an income tax while lowering the value added tax as the territory is struggling economically.

Jean-Claude Mailly, who is the secretary-general of France's third largest union, says in the face of the unemployment rate rising to 20 percent, employers in Tahiti should consider setting up some form of unemployment benefit.

Mr Mailly, who is on his first ever visit to Papeete, says the economic crisis has hit French Polynesia hard, suggesting that economic activity has contracted by about 25 percent.

He has also criticised the overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, likening her appointment to a casting error.

Mr Mailly says she has consistently declined to reply to letters from his union, saying she is the first office holder to refuse a meeting with a union delegation made of overseas territories members.