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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under fire again as official residence expenses near £1m

For the second time in as many days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under fire over the use of taxpayers’ money after it was revealed that spending at his official residence has increased by 80 per cent in just the last three years.

The latest embarrassment comes just 48 hours after it was revealed that Mr Netanyahu ordered that a bedroom, complete with double bed, be specially fitted to the plane he used to fly to London last month to attend the funeral of Baroness Thatcher – at a cost to the Israeli taxpayer of $127,000, for the five and a half hour flight.

Mr Netanyahu spent a total of 5.43 million shekels (£975,000) on his household in 2012, up from 3.02 million in 2009. The prime minister is likely to be accused of profligacy with public funds, especially at a time when the latest Israeli budget, which passed through the Knesset on Monday, imposes income tax hikes and big cuts in public and military spending.