It has decided to stop funding social measures
New Caledonian institutions are currently experiencing serious difficulties in presenting a balanced budget. The South Province, the richest of the three provinces, decided to take three radical measures on Thursday 3 December. The first is that of stopping the funding of medical aid. Medical aid is a financial device that allows the financing of health expenses for the poorest. The second radical measure is the financing of disability. It will also be abolished.
It no longer wants to finance private education
Elected officials have also decided to stop funding private education. In New Caledonia, there are in fact two school systems : one is private, the other is public. These three decisions are expected to save 7 billion francs (AUD 96 million). However, the idea is not to remove social security cover for people on modest incomes. “No one is going to lose their medical cover,” explained, very upset, Sonia Backès (Caledonia together), the president of the province.
Sonia Backès wants Caledonia to pay
The idea is to have New Caledonia finance these measures and not the province. This led to a very lively debate in the Chamber. Opposition MPs believe that no one knows how New Caledonia will be able to pay this amount. It is important to point out that the president of the government, Thierry Santa has the same political colour as Sonia Backès. The debates have been lively. Nina Julié (Generations), an elected representative, yet close to the majority, even declared: “We are saving one institution to sink another. The most fragile Caledonians are going to drink a toast.
The State, still the State?
This debate has only just begun. It is going to be long and hot. How are the elected representatives going to find a solution when we know that New Caledonia’s budget is very difficult to close? The elected representatives agree on at least one point: the only “serious” way to complete the budget is to obtain an exceptional subsidy from the State. One more…