"Because an employer could not increase people's pay they had to find other ways of retaining them when another company tried to bid them away. I worked for The Guardian then and its particular wheeze was giving its staff cars supplied with free petrol. Journalist salaries were relatively modest but the management revealed in some negotiation that the paper had more editorial cars than the Times, Telegraph and FT put together."
Those who think that limiting high pay - and, indeed, many of those advocating higher taxes for higher income earners - would do well to dwell on that example. Companies and well-off individuals will always find ways around income-draining measures; ways that, more often than not, will result in a lower tax take for the Exchequer. Given the state of the public finances, the likely result would then be a greater burden on low income earners. Progressive? Perhaps not.