18 Nov 2009

Tax plan rejigged in French Polynesia as ruling majority crumbles

2:30 pm on 18 November 2009

The French Polynesian government has proposed to increase the various rates of value added tax in a bid to finalise its 2010 budget.

This comes after deciding to drop a so-called internal solidarity tax of 1.5 percent whose planned introduction was widely opposed and threatened to result in street protests.

The passage of the budget is still in doubt as the To Tatou Aia leader, Gaston Tong Sang, says he plans to submit an alternative budget.

He and his followers are formally part of the majority in the assembly but amid disagreements over recent weeks, he has been in talks with the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira reportedly to explore the option of lodging a no confidence motion.

The President Oscar Temaru says the appetites of some has come to the fore and their bad faith has been shown in their speeches full of contradictions.

The current coalition government was formed in April when Mr Temaru became the territory's third president since last year's early general election.