The country spent some 25 percent less in expenses and upkeep of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem and private home in Caesarea in 2013 than the year before, according to a document posted on the Prime Minister’s Office’s website on Wednesday.
The release of the document comes some three months after Netanyahu came under intense public criticism for spending tens of thousands of shekels on water bills, scented candles and flowers. He was also sharply criticized last year for a lack of transparency in not voluntarily issuing an accounting of his expenses.
Wednesday’s document, categorized but not an itemized list of every expense, showed that some NIS 2.4 million was spent on the two residences in 2013, as opposed to NIS 3.2 million the year before. By contrast, in 2009, his first year back as prime minister, the two residences cost the taxpayers some NIS 1.8 million.
According to the document, there was a 48% decrease in the expenditure for food and the hosting of official events, down from NIS 480,000 in 2012 to NIS 246,000 last year.
Likewise, gardening costs fell by 45%, furniture and household appliance purchases by 68% to NIS 34,000, and the cost of the residence in Caesarea dropped from NIS 318,000 in 2012 to NIS 183,000 last year.
Furthermore, while in 2012 NIS 4,561 was spent on Netanyahu’s private apartment on Aza Road in Jerusalem, last year no taxpayer money was spent there.