Portugal eyes tax hikes for banks, cars in annual budget

LISBON, Portugal – Portugal’s government is looking to increase taxes on the country’s most profitable business sectors as it tries to reconcile the debt-cutting demands of European authorities with its anti-austerity promises to workers and pensioners.

Lawmakers given details Wednesday of the government’s delayed 2016 budget say tax hikes are planned for banks and vehicle and gas sales, among other measures.

The minority Socialist government holds power due to the parliamentary support of the Communist Party and radical Left Bloc, which won’t accept pay and pension cuts.

But Portugal’s eurozone partners, who had to contribute to the debt-heavy country’s 78 billion-euro ($85 billion) bailout in 2011, insist the budget deficit must fall to help repair public finances.

The government is expected to unveil its annual spending and revenue plan on Friday.