GP tax returns reveal 30 per cent pay rise

GP earnings rose by 30 per cent to an average £106,000 during the first year of the new GMS contract, according to tax data analysed by the NHS.

GP 30% pay rise
GP 30% pay rise

The Information Centre found that in 2004/5, after expenses were deducted, GMS GPs earned an average net income of £102,437, an increase of 32.8 per cent since 2003/4. PMS GPs earned an average £116,583, an increase of 26.5 per cent over the same period.

GPs who worked in dispensing practices earned an average of £128,000 after expenses, a rise of 31 per cent, compared to £102,000 for those in non-dispensing practices.

These are the first official statistics on UK GPs’ net income, before tax, since the new contract was introduced. The report, which looked at income from both NHS and private sources for almost 18,000 GPs, revealed that the average total earnings for GPs was £236,000. Tax-allowable expenses on average accounted for 55 per cent of overall income, almost £130,000 per GP.

The key facts on GP pay 2004/5

  • Average net income for GMS and PMS GPs in the UK was £106,404, an increase of 30.5 per cent since 2003/4.
  • Average net income for GMS GPs was £102,437, an increase of 32.8 per cent. PMS GPs earned £116,583, a rise of 26.5 per cent.
  • Non-dispensing GPs earned £102,388, an increase of 30.4 per cent since 2003/4. Dispensing GPs earned £127,924, up 31.2 per cent.
  • The average gross earnings for UK GPs was £236,330, with average expenses standing at £129,926.
  • The UK expenses to earnings ratio (percentage of overall earnings accounted for by tax-allowable expenses) was 55 per cent, a decrease from the 2003/4 ratio of 59.5 per cent, reflecting the higher increase in overall earnings compared to expenses over this period.
  • PMS net income was 13.8 per cent higher than GMS net income in 2004/5 (£116,583 compared to £102,437). The corresponding figure in 2003/04 was 19.5 per cent (£92,168 compared to £77,152).
  • In 2004/5, GMS dispensers had a 28.3 per cent higher average net income than GMS non-dispensers (£125,516 compared to £97,825). PMS dispensers earned 19.3 per cent more than their non-dispensing counterparts (£135,638 compared to £113,649). These differences are largely unchanged from the previous year.


The Information Centre figures relate to earnings, expenses and income derived from all self-employed sources, as reported on tax returns, and so include private as well as NHS work.

They also include GPs’ personal earnings that do not contribute towards the NHS Pension Scheme, and will therefore differ to average pensionable earnings figures sourced from the UK pensions agencies.

The full report can be found online.

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