Members of the public believe nurses should be paid a lot more money than they currently get, a new study shows.
The average reasonable wage for a nurse should be £33,000, compared with a typical salary of £21,985 in the real world, the Fabian Society poll found.
The left-wing think-tank said it shows that people think there should be less of a pay gap, with low earners receiving fairer remuneration.
Footballers are seen as having the most over-inflated wages, and people think the average annual wage for a soccer star should be £62,000, but they actually get £676,000 a year.
But research indicates the trend is going in the other direction as the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) claims that the wealth gap is increasing.
Its study said incomes for the poorest fifth of the UK fell by 0.4% during 2005-06, but income for the richest fifth rose by 1.5%.
Tom Hampson, editorial director at the Fabian Society, said: "This research shows how the British public feels the gap between the richest and poorest workers should be narrower."
And the author of the report, Rachael Jolley, said: "There is a sense that society works more fairly in countries where the gap between the richest and poorest is closest.
"People believe in a fair wage for the work they do. Progressive politics should acknowledge that the public want the unfair gap between rich and poor narrowed."
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