Stop DWP wasting tax-payers' money fighting court cases they always lose.

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has just lost its fourth court case since December 2017. This represents a complete waste of tax-payers' money; Parliament should prevent any further spurious challenges by DWP to appeals against its inhumane, austerity-driven decisions and policies.

On Thursday 28 June, minister of state for employment Alok Sharma was forced to reveal the outcome of a legal challenge to the DWP at the Court of Appeal. The court ruled that the government’s changes to regulations about Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) breached the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR): by failing to allow claimants to appeal against its decisions, the DWP is in breach of Article Six of the ECHR – the right to a fair trial.

This is court defeat number four for the department since December 2017. The DWP lost one case just before Christmas, meaning it had to review the claims of thousands of people. It then lost another one on 14 June, this time about Universal Credit. And just this week, it lost a sex discrimination case at the EU Court of Justice.

Meanwhile, there are at least another three outstanding court cases against the DWP. One involves its Access to Work scheme for disabled people (the claimant says it’s discriminatory). Another involves the Child Poverty Action Group and the two-child limit on tax credits and Universal Credit. And a third is to do with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The repeated court appearances are a damning indictment of the system. One where it seems that claimants’ only line of defence against the department is, increasingly, through legal avenues, clogging up the legal system and wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax-payers' money.

It is time for Parliament to rein in the DWP.



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