By Jonathan Davies

The GMB union is calling for the top rate of income tax in the UK to be raised to 85%.

The union doesn't want to rate raised to raise tax revenue, but to deter companies from paying £25m salaries, like the figure being offered to BG Group's new chief executive.

The gas exploration company will pay Helge Lund £12m in shares when he joins the company in March, and could earn up to £13.5m if certain performance targets are met.

"85% tax rates for pay over £1m should be re-introduced as deterring excessive pay for top managers will leave more to be shared with the all the team who create the wealth," GMB said.

Today (Wednesday), the Institute of Directors (IoD) heavily criticised BG Group's plans to pay Mr Lund £25m. The business lobby group said it would damage the reputation of UK businesses even further.

Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for energy, said: "For once the IoD is right to say that BG asking shareholders on 15th December to approve paying the new CEO £25m per year will bring big business into even more disrepute.

"It will not stop them though. The top managers right across industry and commerce help themselves to vast sums simply because they can do so and no one stops them being simply greedy.

"That is why GMB calls for a top tax rate of 85% for very high pay not to raise revenue but to stop the likes of BG offering £25m in the first place."

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