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France set to ease 2013 tax hikes on small business

PARIS (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande's government will likely ease the impact of tax hikes on small business in the 2013 budget after a chorus of complaints by French entrepreneurs, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Thursday.

The climb-down comes less than a week after Hollande unveiled plans for 30 billion euros ($38.7 billion)of savings next year and will add to existing doubts on whether France will stay on course to narrow its deficit to 3 percent of output in 2013.

At issue is an increase in capital gains taxes on equity sales which business leaders argue will hit hard entrepreneurs wanting to sell their business - thus discouraging them from building it up in the first place.

"We will probably have to change it," Moscovici told France Inter radio of the measure, which was due to involve a closer alignment of taxes on capital gains with those on income.

"If certain measures are badly calibrated, it must be possible to have a dialogue on that," he said of talks on possible changes to the budget with business leaders set for later on Thursday.

The budget envisaged 10 billion euros of savings thanks to a freeze in public spending, 10 billion euros of additional revenues from tax hikes on business and the remainder from increased charges on individuals, particularly the rich.

The increase in capital gains tax on equity sales was a measure which, by itself, was due to reap two billion euros. It was not clear how much it could yield after an changes are implemented. ($1 = 0.7751 euros)

(Reporting by Mark John; )

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