And it’s doing so despite losing two previous rulings about the same case. The solicitor acting on behalf of the disabled people involved said the DWP should just “admit defeat”. But a minister just revealed the department has already spent over £200,000 fighting these cases. DWP minister of state Justin Tomlinson said in a written statement on Tuesday 18 February:
“As at 13 February 2020, the Department has spent £215,846.89 on legal costs defending and appealing the cases in relation to people formerly in receipt of Severe Disability premium that have transferred to Universal Credit.”
Yet despite repeated defeats, the cost to the public purse, and the stress on the claimants, the DWP is refusing to concede this third case before it gets to court.
Description of cartoon for those people using screen reading software
Two white male suited DWP officials are carrying sacks of money and shovelling them into a fiery cauldron with ‘court costs’ printed on the side. One of the sacks has ‘tax payers money’ printed on it and the other sack has ‘ unclaimed benefits’ printed on it. Alongside of them is a young black female wheelchair user who is holding a piece of paper with ‘High court orders DWP to pay benefits arrears’ on it. On the floor is another paper which reads ‘DWP loose another court case’. The DWP official who is doing the actual shovelling is saying: “Why should we worry – there’s plenty more where this came from!”
And here is an audio transcription for easier access to the Blog (voice of Helen Lupton aka Mrs Crippen)