‘Disgusting’: Family’s outrage at bedroom tax on severely disabled girl who needs her own room


27 Jan 2013 00:00

Doctors have said the youngster needs a custom built room – but family will lose £20 a week because of new rules

Gary Hooper and his disabled daughter Angel Photo: Hull News
Gary Hooper and his disabled daughter Angel Photo: Hull News


By Mirror.co.uk 35 Comments

A family will lose £80 a month under the hated new bedroom tax – after an extension prescribed by doctors is built for their disabled girl.

Health chiefs say Angel Hooper, five, who cannot walk or stand, must have the custom-built room.

But the bedroom tax means parents Gary and Heather will lose £20 a week – ­because she won’t be sharing it.

Gary told the Sunday People:

“It is disgusting that they think a disabled child like Angel should share a room.”

The couple have five children with another on the way and live in a four-bedroom council house in Hull.

When Angel’s special room is built the government’s new tax, due in April, will plunge the Hoopers and 95,000 other families into poverty.

The levy, called “under occupancy tax”, means council or housing association tenants with ‘spare’ bedrooms will lose £40 to £80 a month in benefits.

There are no exceptions for disabled kids, elderly who need care or families with children fighting in Afghanistan.

Angel’s parents care for her 24/7 and mum Heather, 28, warned:

“I think the tax could make people with disabled children depressed or suicidal.”

Angel developed meningitis and septicaemia when she was 12 days old, leaving her severely disabled.

The box room she has outgrown is too small to be classed as a bedroom at 6ft by 9ft. Her wheelchair doesn’t fit so she has to be carried in and out by her dad.

But the extension recommended by the local NHS Occupational Therapy team will mean the house is reclassified.

And under new rules for larger families, bedrooms must be shared by two kids, so the Hoopers will be deemed to have a spare.

Dad Gary, 44, who receives a £58.58 a week carer’s allowance, says he hopes Angel’s extension will mean he can return to work.

“When I was made redundant I became Angel’s carer because my wife can’t lift her into her room.”

Angel’s appalling case was raised last week in the House of Commons by MP Diana Johnson who branded the tax “shambolic” and “unfair”.


Sunday People and Daily Mirror



  • Aletheia January 29, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Disgraceful how a disabled child can be penalised whilst the gov creams off the backs of society’s most vulnerable. They are shameless.

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