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Is Saudi Arabia’s social contract under strain?

Its people may not accept taxation without representation

By Peter Salisbury  

©Rainer Jensen/DPA/PA Images

It was a question that Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince and rising centre of power wasn’t keen to answer.

Mohammed bin Salman had just been asked, by Economist editor Zanny Minton Beddoes, whether plans to implement a sales tax would force the conservative Kingdom his father rules over to open up politically. Along with other far-reaching economic reforms, Beddoes said, in an interview published in January 2016, it looked like the social contract between the ruling Al Sauds and the people of Saudi Arabia was…

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