Politicians should stop "sloganising" about universal entitlements and explain how they can be properly funded, according to Labour.
Party leader Johann Lamont said the "reality" of policies such as free personal care for the elderly is different to the SNP's description of them.
Her comments came in heated exchanges at Holyrood, where the two parties clashed over their approaches.
She said: "If you want good public services that people can rely on, that our older people are not isolated and in fear, we need to stop sloganising and start working together about the consequences of the decisions that are being made."
In a fixed budget, choices must be made between competing sets of "good policies", she said. Ms Lamont echoed a speech she made in Edinburgh in September where she called for an end to a "something for nothing" culture. She suggested that taxes will have to rise or services will be cut to maintain expensive SNP pledges on areas such as the council tax freeze, universal prescriptions, eye tests, tuition fees and bus travel.
Health Secretary Alex Neil, who opened Tuesday's debate for the Government, pledged "unwavering" support to continue with the commitments. He said Labour has to come forward with actual policy decisions on the future of benefits before a proper debate can be had.
He said: "There has been reference made to 'something for nothing'. When you look at the older generation in particular, who benefit from concessionary fares, who benefit from free personal nursing care, to say that is 'something for nothing' is absurd.
"Not only have they worked all their days and we have a moral duty to look after them in their twilight years, but these people still pay taxes. Many of them still pay income tax, some may pay other taxes, every one of them will pay value added tax. If they're contributing to our society, why do we not look after them?"
Ms Lamont, focusing on elderly care, said the nature of the SNP's policies must be scrutinised. She told Mr Neil: "You say that free personal care is important to sustain people in their own homes.
"I'm telling you the reality is old people are being contained in their own homes with 15-minute visits, tucked up in their beds by six o'clock and the carer told focus on tasks and not the individual. That is not free personal care, that is a slogan."