Willetts told Sky News the “values of our economy” had “gone wrong” under Labour, because there “was too much borrowing and not enough saving”.
He said: “We were living beyond our means on borrowed money. Government was borrowing the money, individuals were borrowing the money and that was not just an economic mistake, it was a moral mistake as well.”
He added: “There was too much trading and not enough manufacturing. There was too much importing of goods and not enough focusing on the services and goods we could sell abroad.”
Willetts said he hoped the electorate would understand the government was attempting to rebalance the economy to put it “back in touch with people’s mainstream values”.
Last month, David Cameron provoked the ire of retailers, after an early draft of his conference speech called on families to repay their credit and store card bills.