2 Jun 2012

Signing of New Caledonia cost of living accord delayed

8:28 am on 2 June 2012

A long awaited signing of a New Caledonian agreement to curb the cost of living has been deferred by two weeks.

The deal was due to be signed on Thursday following months of work to grapple with what many perceive as the territory's biggest problem.

This follows nearly a year of consultations and involved the territory's Congress, the trade union movement and the French state.

A year ago, unprecedented territory-wide mass rallies were held against the high cost of living, prompting commissions to be set up to try to reform the economy.

The union movement refused to sign, saying the draft accord, which has not been made public, needs to be discussed with its members within the next week.

The employer organisation, which has had no role in the government-led discussions, wants to use the delayed signing to become involved.