The coalition government seems to have set its sights on the BBC license fee as the rest of the public sector faces the prospect of stringent budget cuts.

Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, told the Daily Telegraph that the BBC was guilty of "extraordinary and outrageous" waste and that it could expect to see the TV license fee cut following negotiations between the government and the BBC next year.

While nothing has been decided by the government Mr Hunt said that the issue of the licence fee needed to be discussed again especially given the "very constrained financial situation" of the country.

He added that, "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. We will be having very tough discussions."

The BBC has come under increasing fire in recent times for the amount it spends not just on managers but on its "talent". This week saw chat and radio show host Jonathan Ross quit the BBC for ITV.

Mr Ross' high salary combined with an incident in which he and "comedian" Russell Brand left obscene telephone messages on actor Andrew Sachs' answer phone left many license fee payers wondering if the license fee was value for money and is likely to have contributed to Mr Ross leaving the BBC.

In response to increasing criticism the BBC has pledged to cut the pay of some of its top managers and has also published the pay and expenses of many of its top executives, often generating headlines in the process.