Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney has written to UK Chancellor George Osborne demanding action to tackle rising fuel prices.
Mr Swinney called on the UK government to establish a fuel duty regulator to ensure that high oil prices result in cuts in duty, keeping overall fuel prices in check.
Mr Swinney said: “It is simply unacceptable that in energy-rich Scotland, motorists and businesses are facing pump prices that have reached over £1.40 a litre in some areas.
“Coupled with the UK government’s recent VAT rise, these record fuel costs are putting a huge and unnecessary amount of pressure on our communities and on vital sectors of the Scottish economy, and risk choking the recovery we are building in Scotland.”
He added: “With a further rise in duty scheduled for April, Westminster must take urgent action to tackle this. The Chancellor will collect around £12bn in tax on North Sea oil revenues this year – around £2bn more than expected if oil prices remain at their elevated levels – so he has the resource to bring the relief motorists and local economies desperately need.”
Mr Swinney said introducing a fuel duty regulator would “support the recovery, increase consumer demand and strengthen growth in our economy”.