Approximately a third of the Christchurch City Council's 1200 strong workforce have purchasing (P) cards which allows them to pay for such work-related items like stationary , training courses, magazine subscriptions and out-of-town accommodation.

Staff spent some $2 million in 2009 involving over 20,000 transactions. There's nothing particularly controversial about this. The Christchurch City Council has a large workforce and someone has to buy the ballpoint pens and the paper clips.

Of more interest is what Sideshow Bob has been charging to his card.

Despite earning some $215,000 last year he still managed to charge over $4500 on his p card. He spent $3000 of that in bars and restaurants.

Given that Sideshow is not short of a few bob and won't be lining up at a food bank anytime soon, it would be reasonable to expect him to fork out for his own meals and drinks.

While preaching economic constraints and belt tightening to the rest of us, Bob hasn't actually done any belt tightening himself.


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