Councils are breaking the law by using parking enforcement powers as a "cash cow", Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has said.
Local authorities in England could be banned from using CCTV cameras and "spy cars" to impose parking fines on motorists under new Government proposals unveiled today.
Mr Pickles told ITV's Daybreak that councils using parking to supplement their income were acting "outside the law" and should prioritise tackling people who are "negligent or inconsiderate in terms of parking or causing dangers to others".
He said: "We are worried that what is happening in local authorities is they are using parking fines as a kind of a cash cow from motorists. The legislation is very clear, you cannot do so.
"The legislation originally on CCTV was really about ensuring it was about stopping crime, not using it as a way just to pick out motorists to make that extra few bob."
A Government consultation paper will suggest amending legislation underpinning the Traffic Management Act 2004 to outlaw the practice.
The Department for Transport says CCTV should be used only when it is impractical to use traffic wardens.
Mr Pickles said the Government was also looking at increasing the "grace" period for motorists to get back to their vehicle before being fined from five minutes to 15 minutes.
He also suggested it will be made easier to challenge wrongly issued tickets.
He criticised councils, saying that rather than using parking enforcement to raise money they should look to make similar cost savings to those made by the Government since the 2010 election.
"We mustn't fall into the trap, into believing that it is either whacking great parking fines or services deteriorating," he added.
"We should be on the side of ensuring the public have a fair deal and we should ensure people can go and park reasonably, not find themselves in a situation (where) they are worried all the time if they are a few minutes late they are going to have a whacking great fine."
The announcement will be seen as a morale-booster as Conservative activists prepare to head off for their annual party conference next week in Manchester.
Mr Pickles told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that between 75 councils, almost a million fines were issued by mobile cameras and 10 million by static cameras over a five-year period.
Asked if he thought that local authorities were using cameras "just to catch people out and raise money", he replied: "I'm afraid I do."
RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: " The issue is not so much about how parking policy is enforced but what the policy is being used to achieve.
"English councils make a surplus of over £500 million each year from parking and the suspicion remains that arbitrary rules are imposed to help maximise revenue rather than prevent congestion. Nobody wants a parking free for all, but they do want reasonable charges and fairness, whatever method is used to achieve it."