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Hunt hints at slashing BBC license fee

Culture Secretary highlights BBC's 'outrageous' waste and admits funding will be reassessed

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned of slashing the BBC's current license fee of £145.50 a year, after next year's licence fee negotiations with the government.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Hunt said that the corporation had been responsible for "extraordinary and outrageous" waste in recent years. He noted that the BBC had to change its ways in view of the country's current financial situation and make tough decisions like everyone else.

Hunt warned the BBC management not to take his silence on the issue as a sign of being satisfied with it, and think that the corporation was immune from public sector cuts.

He added that he would soon send the government's public spending watchdog, the National Audit Office, to examine the BBC's accounts.

Hunt's hinting at a potential licence fee cut has been welcomed by some commercial media outlets, which have been arguing that the BBC should not be immune to the constraints of the current economic situation.