An increase in spending money of just 75p for elderly people in care homes has been condemned as "Scrooge-worthy" and "an insult to vulnerable care-home residents".
Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern, said the 75p increase is "barely enough to buy a packet of biscuits, let alone any seasonal treats".
"It's an insult to the vulnerable care home residents who rely on it and it is humiliating for them to have to go with a begging bowl to family or friends just to buy essentials," he said.
"Ministers should be ashamed of themselves for reneging on their promises to Parliament and for burying the bad news over the festive season."
Care-home residents must contribute to the cost of their care, usually through savings or pensions, and are entitled to keep the allowance from their own money to pay for the rest of their needs.
Those whose accommodation, food and nursing fees are paid by the state will have £21.90 a week to pay for such things as clothing, transport and toiletries from April.
The Department of Health has defended the below-inflation rise, saying the personal expenses allowance is being increased in line with all other state benefits.
Copyright © Press Association 2008