The TV licence fee could be cut under the government’s current public spending drive, the Culture Secretary has said.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Jeremy Hunt hit out at what he referred to as the corporation’s “extraordinary and outrageous waste”.

And he said he could “absolutely” see viewers paying less than the current licence fee of £145.50 a year after negotiations between the BBC and the government due to take place next year.

Hunt said that the corporation needed to realise the “very constrained financial situation” the country was currently in.

And he added that a reduction in the licence fee was “a discussion that we need to have”.

“The BBC should not interpret the fact that we haven’t said anything about the way licence fee funds are used as an indication that we are happy about it,” he said. “We will be having very tough discussions.”

The MP added that the BBC “would have to make tough decisions like everybody else”.

“Like all other public organisations, ministers expect the BBC to demonstrate that they are operating efficiently and giving value for money,” he said.