By Dan Danaher
THE Clare Labour Party has been hit with another defection of one of its most active female members in the county. In addition to stepping down from the Labour Party’s Central Council, Paula McNamara, Magowna, Inch, has also resigned from the party.
The daughter of former Ennis Hospital Development committee chairman and Labour Party activist, the late Peadar McNamara, has also relinquished a number of administrative roles including public relations officer of the Ennis Labour Branch, county womens’ officer, and co-treasurer.
This follows the departure from the party of Ennis town councillor, Paul O’Shea in September 2012 over cuts to home and community care funding.
Acknowledging her family were historically involved in the Labour Party, Ms McNamara admitted her decision to quit wasn’t an easy decision as it was where her ideals were laid. Ms McNamara said she tried to step down in November before the Labour Party annual conference but was encouraged to stay on.
However, as the weeks went on, she felt she wasn’t doing herself or the community any good by remaining in the party as she couldn’t achieve what she wanted to achieve.
She believes the Labour Party didn’t do enough to protect ordinary people on low incomes in the bottom 20% of society. Despite suggesting on several occasions that new tax bands should be created for the wealthy, particularly those earning over €100,000, to share the burden more equally with the rest of the country, she said this plea fell on deaf ears. Ms McNAmara also noted that a lot of other good suggestions on how Ireland could move forward as a country weren’t taken up by the party.
Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton has claimed that the introduction of a new tax on high earners with annual incomes of over €100,000 would hinder job creation.
Dismissing his assertion as “ludicrous”, she pointed out other countries had successfully introduced wealth taxes, while Ireland had retained its low 12% corporation tax rate. However, she pointed out that employers’ PRSI was an obstalce to job creation because it was so high.
While Ms McNamara is considering the possibility of contesting the Local Elections next May, she hasn’t made up her mind fully on this proposal.
She explained it was something she would have to think long and hard about before making a final decision because it would involve a big financial commitment.
Instead, the substitute woodwork and construction teacher is concentrating on the delivery of a number of community projects over the coming weeks.