'Bedroom tax' to cost Bransholme family-of-seven £80 a month
A FAMILY of seven are set to lose £80 a month because new rules say they are under-occupying their house.
Gary and Heather Hooper live in a four-bedroom council property in Axminster Close, Bransholme.
The couple's severely disabled five-year-old daughter Angel sleeps in a specially-built ground floor room.
But under welfare reforms being introduced by the Government in April, the family are facing having their housing benefit reduced by £20 a week.
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It is because the new rules for larger families require bedrooms to be shared by two children. Under that definition, one bedroom in the house will be classed as spare or unoccupied.
At the moment, three of couple's children – Lee, nine, Scott, five, and Cassy, two – have their own rooms.
The couple share a bedroom with their youngest son, ten- month-old Aaron, while Angel's room is not being classed as a bedroom.
Mrs Hooper, 28, who is also six months' pregnant, said: "The council has told us we will be classed as only requiring three bedrooms and, as such, the house will be under-occupied under the new system, which is ridiculous.
"It means we will be losing about £80 a month, which is quite a lot of money."
Mr Hooper, 44, gave up his job as a forklift truck driver to help care for his family.
Ward councillor Phil Webster also sits on the council's cabinet.
He said: "I am taking this case up with the Government because it's just not right."