The 2022 budget of New Caledonia was voted on Tuesday 29 March by the elected members of Congress.
The debates lasted two days. They were very tense and the words between the independents and the non-independents were sometimes violent. The non-independents accused the president of the government of not respecting the minority. The rule in the government is collegiality. Collegiality is the legal version of the Oceanian consensus. The idea is that measures must be thought through together. The non-independents feel that these rules have been flouted. They then decided to leave the room. The budget was then voted on without them.
Very sick public finances
New Caledonia’s budget amounts to about one billion Australian dollars. It comes at a time of very serious financial crisis. Caledonia can only balance its books because the French state has granted it a loan of 21 billion francs (AU$260 million). In the coming years, Caledonia will have to adopt very restrictive economic and fiscal measures to balance its budget and finance its social spending.
Wallisians and Futunians remain neutral…
It is important to underline that the Éveil océanien abstained. The party made up of a very large majority of Wallisians and Futunians did not want to take sides for or against the independentists. It is faithful to its slogan about independence: “No, not now…”.
Photo : Louis Mapou, pro-independence president of the Caledonian government