ITV joint managing director Clive Jones has warned that ITV's regional offering could suffer if the government does not reduce the£250m

ITV joint managing director Clive Jones has warned that ITV's regional offering could suffer if the government does not reduce the£250m "supertax" it forces the company to pay each year.

Speaking at the Pact-organised conference for the nations and regions in Salford this week, Jones said that the charges - comprised of licence fees and advertising taxes - would soon eat into local programme investment.

"It will be difficult, possibly impossible, to continue [regional production at the same level] if we're still paying the same level of supertax," he said, adding that all ITV's public service output would be under threat if the charges were not reduced.

He said: "We have a major commitment to news, religious programming and arts and children's - a pure entertainment channel probably won't make those programmes.

"We want to keep on making those programmes but it's going to become increasingly hard for us to serve that public service remit if money is being taken out of the system to go to the government."

Jones, who is to become chief executive of the merged ITV News division, also said he did not want Ofcom "to lift the burden of regional programming as it is not a burden".