There is alarm in New Caledonia over reported suggestions to abolish the French indexation of public sector wages.
France pays up to twice the French salary for those working in its overseas possessions, but according to the opposition's Republicans, the top-ups would be scrapped.
If elected president next year, their candidate Nicolas Sarkozy wants to slash public expenditure by more than 100 billion US dollars, which includes about 450 million for the indexed salaries.
The Caledonia Together Party said this is an outdated and recurring plan without thought about its impact on a territory where the cost of living is much higher.
The Republicans have reportedly tried to allay the concern, saying the cut of the top-up would only apply to overseas departments and not overseas territories like New Caledonia.
French public service employees in New Caledonia earn up to 94 percent more than in mainland France.