A Taxing Question


Does what we pay in taxes
count towards what we
are meant to fork out to those who
have less than you or me?

To be a first class Muslim
the Prophet’s clear command
was zakat, but at rates below
HMRC’s demand.

For righteous Jews there’s tzedakah
of income, 10% –
while Christians – less specific – duck
clarifying what Jesus meant  

when he said it’s easier
to push a camel through
a needle’s eye, than for the rich
to join the Chosen Few,

and then there is that daunting tale
of the young gent who declined
to flog off all his worldly goods
if he’d salvation find.  

But my tax bill extracts far more
towards the common good
than these religions legislate
for heaven’s sake I should –

except of course I never know
whether my money’s gone
to fund the NHS, or schools

or Trident, and the Bomb.

Tom Vaughan

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Tom Vaughan  would be pleased to hear them.