More than 150 GPs earned in excess of £250,000 in the year ending April 2005, official figures have revealed.
The Information Centre found that the number of doctors earning £200,000-plus in 2004-5 trebled from the previous year.
The health authority, which analysed almost 18,000 GP tax returns, discovered that the average net income was in excess of £100,000 in England for the first time.
Doctors won the right new contracts in 2004, allowing them to hand responsibility for out-of-hours patient care to NHS primary care trusts. As well as working fewer hours, much of their pay is now linked to performance, allowing higher salaries.
GPs in England earned an average of £103,564 in 2004/5 – up 22%. Those in Wales made an average of £91,588; in Northern Ireland £91,151; in Scotland £82,696.