30 May 2011

New Caledonia government works on tax changes to address protests

7:26 pm on 30 May 2011

Personal tax changes are expected to be part of a package of measures put together by the New Caledonian government to address growing protests over the cost of living.

Thousands of people have marched in recent weeks demanding structural change in the economy.

There's discontent at high prices held up by high public service salaries and monopolies in the market place.

A spokesperson for the New Caledonian government, Cameron Diver, says it's consulting business, unions and consumers to hatch a plan to raise people's buying power and lower prices.

"I think it's also a way of perhaps putting a little bit of money back in people's pockets if we can find a solution that allows us to be a little bit more flexible in terms of the direct taxation that hits people straight away when they get their salary at the end of every month."

Cameron Diver says the government expects to announce a package of interim measures within weeks and structural reforms within the year.