Fuel retailers have hit back at claims they are profiting from recent falls in the price of oil, saying that they do not directly benefit from oil price fluctuations.
Retailers were criticised when it was revealed that the price of oil had fallen 7% in January, but pump prices had risen slightly.
There is not a direct link between the price of oil and the price at the pump, said Ray Holloway, Director of the Petrol Retailers Association. Changes in the price of a barrel of oil do not necessarily affect the price at the pump immediately.
Holloway insists the only way for pump prices to come down immediately would be if the Chancellor of the Exchequer were to cut taxes.
With many fuel retailers barely clearing costs, only the Chancellor is in a position to permanently reduce the price of fuel at the pump, he said.
Meanwhile, Shell has set a new UK profits record after reporting annual profits of 13.9 billion.
Its record profits have been put down to the rising price of crude oil.