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Ageing population poses a "real risk" to Scotland's budgetAgeing population poses a "real risk" to Scotland's budget

Scotland's ageing population poses a "real risk" to the country's budget in future, according to a report from the Holyrood Finance committee.

Committee convener Bruce Crawford said the risks identified in the report raise "fundamental questions" about Holyrood's powers and the fiscal framework underpinning the devolved budget.

The working-age population is set to fall from 2018 onwards, alongside a big increase in the number of over-75s. See the link here https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/population/population-projections/population-projections-scotland/2016-based

While the rest of the UK is set to see its working-age population grow, for Scotland the number of people in the 16-64 working-age bracket isset to shrink in the immediate future placing a drag on economic growth north of the border according to the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

Scottish migration minister Ben Macpherson said the country was "in a very different demographic position compared to the rest of the UK" and needs "a tailored approach to migration policy”, something that the UK government has opposed.

In September, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss argued that since the parliament's block grant from Westminster is based on the overall population there are protections in the fiscal framework against demographic changes.

She said: "The Scottish government is protected against risk with regard to population size relative to the tax take in both countries."

The committee also raised concerns that a decrease in immigration relative to the rest of the UK could see Scotland disproportionately affected by any drop in numbers after Brexit.


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