Ray Holloway, director of the Petrol Retailers Association, said: 'Despite these enormous profits, it is the Government that mercilessly continues to take the lion's share of profits. The Government took a staggering £23 billion last year from long suffering UK motorists. The public should not be surprised the price of our fuel is the highest in Europe. An oil regulator must be appointed and a far reaching inquiry launched into the practices of the oil industry.'
Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown has cut duty on some fuels and in the March 7 Budget has pledged to: freeze duty on all road fuels and cut duty on ultra-low sulphur petrol by 2p a litre (9.12p a gallon) to widen its differential with unleaded petrol, cut duty on ultra-low sulphur diesel by 3p a litre (13.56p a litre) and cut duty on lead replacement petrol by 2p a litre (9.12p a gallon).