By Daniel Kraemer and Harriet Agerholm in The Independent.
Ministers have spent almost £40m in an “appalling” attempt to stop sick and disabled people receiving the financial help they are entitled to, The Independent can reveal.
Freedom of Information requests have exposed how taxpayers’ money has been spent on futile legal battles to prevent vulnerable people receiving help.
The hit to the public purse could also be far higher than the new data suggests because it is still unclear how much more the state spends running courts where sanctions are challenged.
The vast majority of appeals were lost by the Government last year, making the expense appear unnecessary. Early indications now show the problem is becoming even worse in 2017, with a 77 per cent rise in money spent trying to stop people from getting Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) payments.
Critics claim the situation has arisen because fitness to work assessments are deeply flawed, leading to incorrect decisions which need to be fought.
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