be robbing Peter to pay Paul

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be robbing Peter to pay Paul

1. To be borrowing or taking money from one source to fund or repay the debt of another. The phrase refers to the Christian leaders Peter and Paul, who were both prominent figures in the early church. Never use a credit card to pay a debt—that's just robbing Peter to pay Paul!
2. To be shifting resources from one part of an organization or entity to another, often needlessly or inefficiently. When we make each department pay rent for their facilities, it seems a bit like we're robbing Peter to pay Paul—it's all the same organization, after all.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

be robbing Peter to pay Paul

If someone is robbing Peter to pay Paul, they are using money that is meant for one thing to pay for something else. I have not starved yet but I am very conscious of failing to pay back debts, of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob
References in periodicals archive ?
You were robbing Peter to pay Paul and Paul to pay Peter - juggling all the time," Mr Davies suggested.