Once again, certain Israeli media outlets are attacking Prime Minister Netanyahu, this time for what they claim are exorbitant expenses for maintaining the Prime Minister’s homes where he entertains foreign officials.
According to Ha’aretz, the state spend NIS 2.97 million to maintain the official Jerusalem residence, NIS 312,000 for his Caesarea home, and NIS 4,561 for his Jerusalem home on Gaza street. Ha’aretz made a point to emphasize the Prime Minister’s water bill. Back in February they complained about how much ice cream his household ate.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the water bill was for 3 years, and besides family and official guests, Netanyahu has full time security details living at his residences.
On Monday, Yisrael Hayon published a tiny, easily overlooked article about another public figure who also seems to have an unusually large budget, President Shimon Peres.
The President currently has an astounding NIS 55.2 million shekel annual budget, according to Yisrael Hayom – and that doesn’t include his annual birthday party at Binyanei Hauma.
Some older reports state that Peres’s official budget in 2012 was NIS 62.7 million, up from NIS 42.5 million in 2011.
In that report, NIS 42 million went to maintaining the Presidential residence, including maintenance, security and staff, while another NIS 4.5 million were spent on flights abroad. You would think that Shimon Peres is a Foreign Minister with that amount of flying overseas.
Surprisingly, Finance Minister Lapid’s usually tight-fisted Ministry of Finance doesn’t think that this is enough money.
They’re recommending to the Knesset that an additional NIS 3.3 million be added onto the President’s annual budget to reach an astounding NIS 58.5 million for running President Peres’s household, and for what some have called his “shadow government”.
Over the weekend, a report in Makor Rishon said that Peres won’t be asking for an extension of his Presidential position which ends July 2014. Instead Peres believes he should be appointed as a “Super-Minister for Peace” in the current government.