The Conservative Party has called for the TV Licensing Authority (TVLA) to adopt BBC branding and to offer a breakdown of how the licence fee is spent with any requests for payment.

Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has written to Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, asking for the TVLA to detail on the back of its forms how much of the£139.50 licence fee is spent on BBC Television, BBC Radio, BBC Online, BBC operating costs and on licence fee collection. It could also include the proportion of money spent on talent, he said.

“Some important reforms to this mechanism [the TVLA's collection of licence fee funds] could go some way to improving both the BBC's transparency and public accountability,” Hunt said in his letter to Lyons.

“I am strongly of the belief that some indication of where licence lee funding goes and in what proportion would be invaluable in improving public awareness and accountability of the BBC's activities.”

Hunt also requested the TVLA to make its link with the BBC much clearer, after an Ofcom report found that just 44% of the population associated the licence fee with the BBC, when asked unprompted.

Hunt also welcomed the Trust's ongoing review of the TVLA's activities, which will take into account the tone of its letters to non-payers and its treatment of people who are not required to pay the licence fee.

The BBC has traditionally used TVLA as an arm's length collecting operation, in order not to colour the BBC brand with its sometimes aggressive demands for payment.

However, a BBC spokesman said: “The BBC is committed to being open and accountable in how we spend the licence fee, and that is why we publish detailed information in our annual report and accounts.

"Over 90% of the licence fee income is spent on TV, radio and online services."