6 Jun 2012

New Caledonia sets price controls to curb cost of living

8:15 am on 6 June 2012

The New Caledonian government has approved price controls on hundreds of consumer goods in an effort to curb the high cost of living.

This follows discussions with unions after last year's unprecedented territory-wide demonstrations against high prices.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The government says it plans to broaden price controls to a further 600 products later this year after setting margins which both wholesalers and retailers can charge on basic commodities ranging from milk, bread and rice to tinned and frozen foods. It has also set some insurance rates, the price of car parts on creche fees. The regulations allow for different margins retailers can charge depending on the size of their premises. In a statement, the government says businesses found to be abusing the regulations are subject to fines of more than 40,000 US dollars."