Date lodged: 14 December 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what its plan is for responding to long-term population growth and the increased burden that this may have on (a) public services and (b) welfare.
Answered by: Keith Brown 21 December 2017
The National Records of Scotland project that based on current trends, the population of Scotland will rise to 5.7 million by 2039, and that the population will age significantly, with the number of people aged 65 and over increasing by 53% between 2014 and 2039. The number of people of pensionable age per 1000 people of working age is projected to increase from 311 in 2015 to 397 in 2039. This will present a number of challenges in terms of both the structure of the economy, and the way we innovate to deliver public services to meet these demands.
The Scottish Government ‘s Economic Strategy (2015) sets out our approach to ensuring that our labour market, our public services and welfare system are resilient and successful both now and in the future. In turn, Scotland’s Labour Market Strategy (2016) builds on the Economic Strategy and highlights the link between employment and improving outcomes across a number of dimensions of Scotland’s social and economic performance. Taking account of changing demographics and ensuring our labour market is able to respond to new demand on both public services and welfare is a key part of this co-ordinated response.