The top boss of Thames Water has come under fire after it was revealed his bonuses in the last year almost matched his salary.

Martin Baggs was awarded £418,359 for the year to March 31 on top of his £425,000 salary, according to the company's annual report.

The move was described as “a classic case of reward for failure" and “an absolute outrage” by Gary Smith, national secretary of the GMB union.

Mr Smith added: “This money came from the hard-earned income of hard-pressed householders.”

News of Mr Baggs’ bonuses came as the hosepipe ban continued across Oxfordshire and the south east while its measure of customer satisfaction “deteriorated.”

Mr Baggs and other Thames Water directors’ salary and bonuses are set by a committee.

The company report said remuneration was linked to performance “in order to produce well balanced short-term and long-term incentive plans.“ It added: “These arrangements are designed to incentivise value creation and a high quality service to customers.”