Traders in Newry are concerned that changes in parking arrangements could deter shoppers from using city centre stores, the SDLP's Dominic Bradley said, on 15 January 2013.
Mr Bradley brought an adjournment debate to the house on the changeover from kiosk to pay-and-display payment for parking.
He said the Department of Regional Development (DRD) had explained that the change was a cost-saving measure.
"People will be less inclined and spend less money in the city centre because of the fear of getting a parking ticket," Mr Bradley said.
DRD minister Danny Kennedy explained the department's approach to parking in Newry.
He said all six charged car parks in Newry would be operated as pay-and-display.
The minister said he understood this would be a disadvantage to some drivers, but a cashless payment system would be introduced and drivers would not need to predict how long they needed to park.