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Proposed tax hikes raise hackles

Finance Minister Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen has been put on the defensive in Norway's budget debate for the year 2001.

Academic critics have taken turns blasting the Labour government's proposed tax and fee hikes, particularly those aimed at business, saying they would curb economic growth and put Norwegian businesses at a disadvantage in Europe. While Schjøtt-Pedersen has characterized his budget plan as anti-inflationary, several economists said that using more of the state's oil proceeds to lower the tax burden would not necessarily cause wages and prices to rise.