Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley says that ministers are secretly planning a "death tax" of up to £20,000 per head to pay for their plans for a National Care Service.
"Gordon Brown needs to come clean with the public and say how he will fund his new National Care Service", Lansley said.
"Behind closed doors Ministers are secretly planning a death tax of up to £20,000 per head which would be levied on the estates of grieving families."
Lansley added that even this death tax would not raise enough to pay for this new National Care Service, meaning that Labour are also planning to take away cash disability benefits from the elderly and cut money from the NHS. "It is another top-down, bureaucratic, costly plan from Labour for which every one of us would end up paying the price", he said.
Philip Hammond, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, described the problem this death tax would cause: "When you die, a Labour Government would take £20,000 from what you leave to your children and family. For those with the most modest savings Labour’s plans could leave them with nothing."
In contrast, he said the Conservatives want to help people in old age so that they can "leave as much of their lifetime’s savings as possible to the next generation".
"We will offer people the chance to pay a one off premium of £8,000 into a voluntary scheme to cover the cost of residential care in old age. So under our plans no-one would be forced to sell their home to pay for care."