Re: It's not just IR35 though
Don't get me started on childcare.
In 2005, Childcare Vouchers were introduced, saving a higher-rate taxpayer up to £2,916/yr.
In 2011, higher-rate taxpayers' savings were capped at £1,484/yr.
In 2018, childcare vouchers were finally scrapped, replaced with Tax Free Child Care. This offers savings of up to £2,000/yr. If you earn £99,999, you qualify. But if you earn just £1 more, you face a bill for £2,000.
You can use pension contributions to reduce your "adjusted income" to below £100k; but pension contributions have an annual limit of £40,000, so if you earn over £140,000 then you can't bring yourself below the magic £100k mark again.
Even that £40,000 limit represents a new tax of sorts. The pension contribution annual allowance for the 2010/11 tax year was £255,000 but reduced to £50,000 for the 2011/12 tax year and £40,000 with effect from April 2014. Not to mention the fact that pension allowances taper off above £150k.
Look, I don't expect much sympathy for people on £100k+ wages. But understand that the environment today for skilled (i.e. high-earning) workers, particularly contractors, is nowhere near as attractive as it once was. No surprise that many of them are planning to leave these shores.