Concerns are being raised that the Tories plan to spend far less than Labour on social care, should they be elected to power on 6 May.
The criticism came as part of an overall attack on alleged Labour plans to cut NHS services, and included a Tory pledge to protect “the whole of the NHS budget”.
In its care White Paper, the government said it planned to find an extra £4bn in annual funding for social care from 2014, including £1.8bn from the NHS.
This would help meet rising demand and fund planned reforms, such as a national system of assessment and eligibility and free personal care for people who have already been resident in care homes for two years from 2014-15. According to the White Paper, the extra NHS resources would be found as part of moves to integrate care.
The Tories back a national system of assessment and eligibility but are opposed to Labour’s proposal to make residential personal care free after two years.
However, the latter costs an estimated £800m a year, leaving a potential extra shortfall of £1bn a year on Labour’s plans, should the Conservatives reject transferring any funds to social care from the NHS.
Campaign group Disability Alliance said it was time the Tories clarified their position.
Policy director Neil Coyle said: “We know what Labour wants to do, but what we don’t know is what the Conservatives want to do, so it would be more useful to deliver policies in this area rather than scare organisations into thinking Labour might cut the NHS.”
A Tory spokesperson said the party planned to spend more on preventive services for older people, including through the creation of a ring-fenced public health budget, which could be used to fund home adaptations.