11/07/2013 13:51 BST | Updated 10/09/2013 06:12 BST

How MPs Can Fix the Pay Rise Problem, Save Jobs and Secure Relection in One Easy Step


Dear readers, if you don't mind, I'd like to talk directly to our nation's elected public servants. Honorable Members, you're on to a loser.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has this week recommended, with a straight face and everything, that you should get a pay rise of six grand to £74,000 a year after the 2015 election.

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you, this puts you in a frightfully difficult position. You were forced to set up an independent watchdog to sort out your pay and expenses because you proved yourselves to be hilariously corrupt, and incapable of treating taxpayers money with any kind of respect. You can't very well tell them they've got their first big decision wrong, and they might want to re-think it.

But imagine the public uproar if you accepted a 10% increase a few weeks after a lot of you of you hear-heared in a 1% cap on public sector pay rises.

Well fear not, public servants of Britain. I have come up with an innovative solution which will not only rescue you from this awkward quandary, it'll guarantee you re-election and it's essentially altruistic. Now do I have your attention?

All you have to do is pledge to donate the value of your pay rise directly to the revenue fund of your local council. As you know, the revenue fund is what pays for staff wages, so you can reasonably argue that you've saved a job. Probably only a part time job if you're the only MP in a rural borough. But say you're one of four or five MPs in a big northern city like Sheffield. Club together and you've bought your beloved city an extra, and much needed nurse. Or even a newly qualified midwife if you want to be a bit fancy.

Alternatively, if you're in a relatively well off constituency with all the nurses you need, why not convince your council to put it towards paying a few more of their staff the living wage? Either way, no MP's stupid enough to say out loud that they need a pay rise, right? So what's the alternative?

And just think of the other benefits. Tory MPs can rid themselves of that nasty party stench. Labour MPs can point at the Tory MPs who will quietly, but inevitably, pocket the rise and hope nobody's noticed, and call them names across the chamber for the whole of the next parliament.

And Liberal Democrat MPs? Well, I'd go so far as to say this might be the only thing that'd give certain of you any hope of holding on to your seat come 2015. All you need to do is promise to give the taxpayer their money back to spend on something more important. Might want to avoid the word pledge though.

So MPs, what do you reckon? Are you ready to take this once in a lifetime opportunity to cynically turn a nasty PR faux pas to your advantage? It's a chance - if you're a Lib Dem, perhaps your last chance - to paint yourself as a hero. Or if not a hero, at least a decent human being. A guaranteed win, and it'll only cost you six grand. Bargain.