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Tuesday
May142013

More Reports Surface of Excess Spending by Netanyahu's Office

GALI TIBBON/AFP/GettyImages(TEL AVIV, Israel) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in hot water over recent revelations of large amounts of taxpayer money spent by his office and residence.

On Tuesday, leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that expenses for Netanyahu's official residence in Jerusalem have gone up 80 percent since he came into office, coming in at $925,000 per year.  The cleaning bill alone for last year was $340,000.

The same newspaper reported that on a helicopter trip to southern Israel last year to inspect a border fence, two men accompanied the prime minister just to take care of his hair.

This comes on the heels of news over the weekend that Netanyahu's office reportedly spent an extra $140,000 to install a sleeping cabin on a plane for a recent five-hour flight to London.

The prime minister's office initially justified the installation of the double bed, saying Netanyahu had just come off a long day of activities for Israel's Independence Day and had a busy day in London the next day.  But a spokesman later said a bed would no longer be installed for short-haul flights.

The uproar coincides with Israel's battle over its budget, which has enraged many Israelis.  The new budget will include spending cuts -- including on family allowances -- as well as a raise in taxes.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio