7 Nov 2005

New Caledonia's middle classes promised huge tax cuts

7:01 pm on 7 November 2005

New Caledonia's ruling party, Future Together, has pledged to implement massive tax cuts for those on higher wages.

Future Together's President, Harold Martin, who was re-elected unopposed at the party's weekend congress, says they are planning cuts of up to 40 percent, at a cost of around 20 million US dollars.

Mr Martin says this is justified by the current strong economic growth enjoyed in New Caledonia, mainly due to an anticipated boom in the nickel mining industry.

He told local media he believes the middle class can now reap the fruits of this growth so their purchasing power does not diminish.

Also at the congress, the Southern Province President, Philippe Gomès, told supporters that building a true New Caledonian identity and citizenship did not mean denying New Caledonia's strong links with France or the European Union.

He says the people have a New Caledonian identity and at the same time, they are the French of the Pacific.

Mr Gomes says people should be proud of this double belonging.