The McCrone report was a UK Government dossier on the economic viability of an independent Scotland, written in 1974 by Professor Gavin McCrone, a leading civil service economist, for the Conservative UK government. By the time it was completed the Labour Party had returned to power. The report predicted that North sea oil revenue would give an independent Scotland a large tax surplus, on such a scale as to be "embarrassing", making the country "as rich as Switzerland." It also surmised that this surplus revenue would make the Scottish pound the hardest currency in Europe "with the exception of the Norwegian kronor" The report went on to advise UK government ministers on the various methods they could use to take "the wind out of the SNP sails".
A year after Professor McCrone had submitted his report to the government, civil servants (including McCrone) met again in London to discuss its implications. They concluded that his findings had been accurate, and that the average income in Scotland would increase by up to 30% per head if the country became an independent state. They also concluded that Scotland's "economic problems would disappear", and it would become "the Kuwait of the Western world", though this was balanced somewhat by the opinion that Scotland could risk "disaster" if the oil price collapsed. They summed up by finding that there was a good case for the continuation of the Union. UK oil production peaked in 1999 and had declined 67% by 2012, but petroleum still contributed £35bn to the UK balance of payments in 2011. The UK government took an estimated £6,530m in direct petroleum taxes in 2012-13 plus £6bn in income tax, national insurance and corporation tax from supply companies in 2011-12. As of 2012[update] around 45% of UK oil & gas employees are in Scotland.
In his evidence to the Lords Committee on the Economic Implications of Scottish Independence in 2012, Professor McCrone stated that Scottish GDP would increase by around 20% if North Sea oil were to be counted as part of it.
- Commission on Scottish Devolution
- Dutch disease
- Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland
- Resource curse
- "Papers reveal oil fears over SNP". BBC. 2005-09-12. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
- "The UK Statute Law Database-The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Commenced No.5)order 2004". Retrieved 2010-01-27.
- Kelbie, Paul; Russell, Ben (2005-12-01). "North sea oil could have made Scotland as rich as Switzerland". nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
- Earp, Mike (28 February 2013). "UKCS Oil and Gas Production Projections" (pdf). DECC. p. 4.UK oil production was 150Mtoe in 1999, and had dropped to 49Mtoe by 2012. 90-95% of UK oil comes from Scottish waters.
- "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 25 January 2012". UK Parliament. 25 January 2012.
- "Statistics of Government revenues from UK oil and gas production" (pdf). HMRC. April 2013. p. 6. Retrieved 23 May 2013.