A YORK MP has called for the city to be treated as a “special case” in his bid to narrow the gap between housing benefits and rent levels.

Hugh Bayley, who represents York Central, said residents on benefits in York were struggling to pay for their accommodation because the figure used to calculate how much they receive includes other parts of the region, such as Selby, Malton and Tadcaster, which have much lower rents. He tabled a House of Commons amendment to the Welfare Benefits Up-Rating Bill, which would have ensured annual reviews of the situation were carried out, but said the time allocated by the Government for debating benefits meant it could not be discussed.

“York needs to be treated as a special case for housing benefits, and if any of my constituents are facing homelessness because of the gap between their rent and the amount they receive in housing benefits, they should contact my office so I can raise their cases with the minister,” said Mr Bayley. He said he wanted the city’s benefit levels to be based on the City of York Council area alone.