Norway’s center-left government said Wednesday it planned to raise taxes on electricity producers and fish farmers to bring in an additional 33 billion kroner ($3 billion) a year.

“Energy producers and the aquaculture industry earn billions of kroner from our combined resources,” the finance ministry said in a statement. `The government is now proposing to give back more added value to society.”

Shares in fish farmers such as Mowi, the world’s largest, Leroy Seafood and SalMar fell on the news and were down between 15% and 19% at 0719 GMT, underperforming an Oslo benchmark index, which was 3.4% lower.

While Norway has a $1.2 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, the government says it plans to cut spending from the fund next year in order to curb inflation.

The extra taxes impose a resource rent tax on aquaculture and wind power, an increase in the resource rent tax on hydropower and an extraordinary tax on wind and hydropower due to the very high electricity prices.

According to the government, costs related to hosting refugees, ongoing public works, welfare costs and subsidies for household electricity will increase by around SEK 100 billion in 2023.

“In reality, we have two ways to close this gap: major cuts in welfare such as pensions, health, police and care for the elderly, or through tax increases,” said Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, who is from the rural-focused Centre Party.

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Source: Reuters

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