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Page last updated at 08:52 GMT, Wednesday, 5 October 2011 09:52 UK

PM 'is catching up with events'

David Cameron is expected to use his keynote speech to the Conservative Party Conference to pay off their debts, including credit and store card bills.

His plea will come as two of Britain's biggest retailers, Tesco and Sainsbury, say their latest sales results reflect the real strain facing customers' budgets.

Tesco has seen its worst sales performances in its UK stores for 20 years. Sales, excluding petrol and VAT, were 0.5% lower in the six months to the end of August, compared with the same period last year. But Tesco's underlying profits, at home and abroad, still rose by more than 6% to £1.9bn.

Figures for Sainsbury's, show its like for like sales were 1.9% higher in the last quarter.

Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King told Today presenter Justin Webb that people were already seeking to cut their personal debt. "I think David Cameron is catching up with events. That's precisely what customers have been doing for a good while now - managing their budgets prudently, week in - week out, month in - month out," he said.

"We do have a bank. We can see quite clearly that people are not taking out more debt and on the whole are trying to pay it down when they can."

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