The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has confided in Tory colleagues that the TV licence fee is "outdated" and "on the way out", according to an exclusive in today's Sunday Express.
Details are still patchy on this one, but the story broke just hours after Mr Osborne took the unusual step of announcing a second annual budget statement in early July. The Government has previously pledged to reduce inheritance tax and freeze rail fares and the TV licence fee.
The current freeze on the £145.50 TV licence fee ends with the renewal of the BBC Charter on 31st December 2016, but is expected to be extended well into the next Charter period.
Mr Osborne's latest comments, if reported accurately, signify a shift in his stance only a month ago when he gave an interview to Radio Times magazine.
Back then, when the prospect of a Conservative majority looked unlikely, Mr Osborne said there were no plans to scrap the TV licence fee. Skip forward a month, with a strengthened Conservative mandate, and the Chancellor's position appears to have hardened.
Whether or not there is substance to these latest rumours, a pattern is emerging whereby the Government is firming its resolve to tackle the inadequacies of the current BBC funding model.
There is no better indication of this than the recent appointment of John Whittingdale, an archcritic of the BBC, as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. That can only be a positive move for anyone without their nose in the BBC trough.
The Sunday Express also confirms that Mr Whittingdale is a member of the right-leaning think-tank The Freedom Association, which is actively campaigning for the abolition of the TV licence fee.