The BBC TV licence is worse than the poll tax, according to the chairman of the influential House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee.
John Whittingdale, Conservative MP for Maldon since 1992, made the comments when he appeared as a panelist on a Question Time style debate hosted by BAFTA.
His comments come only a fortnight after Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, whose Department oversees the TV licence fee, announced that barrister David Perry QC was to lead a review into how effectively the fee was enforced by the BBC.
Mr Whittingdale told the audience: "I think in the long term (the TV licence fee) is unsustainable.
"I think most people, almost everybody, accepts that the licence fee as it currently stands need some tweaking to sort out anomalies.
"People's viewing habits have changed and it needs to reflect that. That's a very simple change and I think people see that.
"You then have the question of whether or not it should remain a flat poll tax, collected through some fairly draconian measures, and whether it should still be criminally enforceable.
"Government has already announced consultation on decriminalisation. I've been looking at other countries and I think there's quite an attractive option of linking it to a specific household tax - maybe council tax.
"I think in the longer term we are potentially looking at reducing at least a proportion of the licence fee that is compulsory and offering choice."
Mr Whittingdale cast doubt on BBC-commissioned research indicating public approval of the TV licence fee, suggesting that the BBC had rigged the outcome by setting its own questions.
"I'm not saying I wouldn't pay the licence fee - I would go on paying the licence fee.
"[But] It is a poll tax. It's actually worse than a poll tax because under the poll tax, if you were on a very low income you would get a considerable subsidy.
"The BBC licence fee, there is no means-tested element whatsoever; it doesn't matter how poor you are, you pay £145.50 and go to prison if you don't pay it."
The BBC's Controller of Drama, Ben Stephenson, who was also present at the session, warned that the BBC would be unable to maintain the same quality of output if the TV licence fee was cut or abolished.