31 Dec 2015

New Caledonia approves 2016 budget

1:36 pm on 31 December 2015

New Caledonia's Congress has approved the budget for 2016 amid expectation that growth will slow to 0.6 percent.

The budget was approved by a large majority but was opposed by the anti-independence Republicans who described it as indecent because it is unlikely to boost the economy.

The territory has been hit by a slump in the price of nickel, which is the dominant export commodity.

This has prompted the government to cut allocations for employment and culture as well as the money used to run its own machinery.

Tax concessions worth 26 million US dollars for the northern province's SMSP mining company have been most controversial.

Some politicians say the decision is legally flawed and may be tested in court.

Noumea, New Caledonia

Noumea, New Caledonia Photo: AFP