19 Oct 2017

Budget delay raises concerns in Noumea

1:54 pm on 19 October 2017

A coalition of New Caledonia's loyalist politicians says it is now too late to have a budget ready for 2018.

This follows the political impasse which has left New Caledonia without a government for two months.

The four anti-independence parties have told a media conference that the government was due to have a budget outline ready by mid-November.

They say the process has been so badly delayed that for the first time in 27 years, a new year will begin without a budget in place.

One politician Philippe Michel said this means that provinces, communes and public enterprises will be forced to operate with preliminary budgets and won't be able to commit to any investment.

A new government was elected in August but it failed to choose a president.

Under New Caledonia's rules this means there is no properly constituted government and that the previous government is returned in a caretaker capacity.

The French High Commissioner has told a local radio station that he will convene the new designated government on Tuesday for a fresh attempt to elect a president.

In three attempts so far, the sole candidate Philippe Germain got only five of the 11 ministers to vote for him.

Two years ago, New Caledonia had no government for three months.

Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia.

Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades