Prime Minister David Cameron will today warn millions of cash-strapped households that they should pay off their credit card and store card debt as Britain aims to rebuild itself.

At the Conservative party conference today, Cameron will warn that the only way out of a debt crisis is to “deal with your debts”.

“That means households – all of us – paying off the credit card and store cards bills,” Cameron will say.

Cameron’s move comes at a time when retailers are already fighting hard for consumer spend, and his comments are likely to further tighten consumer purse strings.

In a sombre speech, the Prime Minister will urge Brits to believe in the Government’s painful austerity plan, even though people “can’t see it or feel it yet”. He will add that the austerity plan “will only work if we stick with it”.

But he will say that, because the country is in a “debt crisis”, this downturn has been like no other.

He will say: “People understand that when the economy goes into recession, times get tough. But normally, after a while, things pick up. Strong growth returns. People get back into work. This time, it’s not like that.

“And people want to know why the good times are so long coming. The answer is straightforward, but uncomfortable.

“This was no normal recession – we’re in a debt crisis. It was caused by too much borrowing, by individuals, businesses, banks – and most of all, governments.”

However, he will call for the country to adopt a “can-do optimism” and will urge people not to be “paralysed by gloom”.