A 50p tax is not damaging to the hiring of executives despite concerns

The 50p rate of tax, for those earning over £150,000, is not hindering international executive appointments, a poll has revealed.

The news will come as a relief to companies who feared that raising the rate of tax to 50p for high earners would prove a barrier to their ability to attract senior talent to the UK.

Commissioned by KPMG, the poll of 54 of the UK's largest companies showed the vast majority do not think the controversial levy has made has made it more difficult for them to recruit leading international executives.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, will also welcome the poll after he came under fire from parliamentary colleagues over the tax possibly deterring top executives from wanting to work in the UK.

In a similar poll commissioned by KPMG two years ago before the tax came in, 83 per cent said that the high tax rate would damage British business. That number has now shrunk to just 13 per cent.

A spokesperson for KMPG said: "The result is really surprising and we were keen to find the drivers for why this happened."

Fundamentally, income tax is not a high consideration when people decide to take jobs - especially in the current economic climate. Of those interviewed, 30 percent considered it to be an important aspect when deciding to take a job, whereas 91 percent considered stability to be the most important factor.

The report says: "Factors such as stability and simplicity are much higher up in the list of priorities." The tax director of an international oil and gas company agreed with the report. "I would think it unusual that personal taxes were the single most decisive factor in determining corporate location," he said.

Despite the positives, there was some criticism of the tax rate, with the EMEA tax director of a global technology firm claiming it was a "psychological barrier" that made the UK less attractive for foreign investment. "Personal tax rates are an active marketing tool for economies," he said. "Speaking to colleagues in the US who are thinking about setting up new plants or R&D centres, when they see 50 percent tax rates, it looks unappealing,"