One in four of Britain’s teachers are now paying the higher rate of income tax despite the profession not being traditionally viewed as highly-paid, according to official figures.
Workers start paying the 40p tax rate once they earn more than £41,865, and figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal that 121,000 teachers have now been pulled over the threshold.
The number includes 87,000 secondary school teachers and 34,000 primary school teachers.
The increase has been mirrored in other public sector professions with a third of police officers and one in 10 nurses also paying high-rate tax.
Teachers were handed a minimum 1 per cent pay rise this year – their first in three years – following a two-year pay freeze, introduced by the government back in 2011.
And Simon Stokes, policy adviser with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said "too many people were being caught in the higher tax band".
"Most people wouldn't class themselves as being higher rate taxpayers, they don't see themselves in that way and I think it will come as a bit of a shock to them."
The numbers come weeks after prime minister David Cameron admitted that the 40p tax rate was increasingly being paid by people who “don’t consider themselves to be wealthy”.
Conservative MP Nick de Blois told The Daily Telegraph: “I have always maintained that the Conservative Party needs to recognise that the higher rate of tax kicks in at a level where people are far from well off.
“Teachers, police officers and nurses are now paying tax at a rate that was once reserved for the very wealthy and I hope we can address this in the next budget and make it clear a Conservative government will ease this burden.”