Blow the budget!

Anna Edwards — Daily Mail May 15, 2013

Its people have just been hit with a stark austerity budget that proposes £4.5billion spending cuts.

But Israel’s prime minister doesn’t seem to have heard the news as he’s doubled his expenses, spending £975,000 on luxuries such as hairdressers and shoes.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s household expenses were revealed after the Movement for Freedom of Information demanded his office release the details of his costs.

His taxpayer-funded spending on food and hospitality went from £39,000 in 2009 to £88,000 in 2012.

An increase that will no doubt enrage Israeli citizens was under ‘representation expenses’ – which included £11,700 being spent on his wardrobe, shoes, make-up and hair treatment, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Another 318,000 shekels – or £57,287 – were spent on the prime minister’s family’s private villa in the exclusive Caesarea, a coastal resort, The Independent reported.

Details of his lavish spending came after his government approved an unpopular austerity budget which will raise taxes and cut public spending in order to tackle 7bn deficit in 2012.

Demonstrations across Israeli cities were held at the weekend to oppose the tough measures, the Guardian reported.

The prime minister’s office issued a statement about the figures, saying they included ‘the expenses for official events held in [Mr Netanyahu’s] home and working expenses for the many meetings held there.’

It is likely to mortify the prime minister, who has already been widely criticised for he and his family’s spending.

Earlier this year he was forced to cancel a state contract when it was revealed that he was spending £1,700 a year of taxpayer money for his favorite ice cream.

It follows an embarrassing incident where the prime minister spent £83,000 having a double bed to be installed on a plane that carried him and his wife, Sara, to Baroness Thatcher’s funeral in London in April, to make the journey more comfortable.

He will now make alternative travel arrangements after his ‘rest chamber’ was slammed for being extravagant, the BBC reported.

The revelations come Israel celebrated its Independence Day – Yom Ha’Atzmaut – and this year marked the 65th anniversary of the nation’s independence on April 15 and 16.

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