The president of New Caledonia's Congress, Roch Wamytan, has suggested the gradual removal of the indexed top-up of public sector salaries as a way of curbing the high cost of living.
Mr Wamytan says it has been a long-held view of the pro-independence FLNKS Movement to tackle the pay boost stemming from the indexing of the French public service salaries.
He made the comment to the local newspaper as the debate about measures to reduce the cost of living has heated up.
On Tuesday, about 1,000 people took to the streets in a protest march, with more action threatened should no substantive measures be announced within a week.
A commission set up after unprecedented mass rallies last year is about to finalise its recommendations.
A commission member has expressed his surprise about Mr Wamytan's views to the newspaper, saying the salary index questions had never been raised in the commission's 20 meetings.