SCOTLAND'S public services are not being equipped to meet the demands of a rapidly ageing population, a Holyrood report warns today.

The Scottish Parliament's finance committee says there has been a lack of real progress in preparing a range of services to cope with what has been dubbed a demographic timebomb.

In a hard-hitting report, MSPs warn: "While there are a myriad of strategies and initiatives it is not clear that these are having the desired effect in terms of facilitating real change."

The cross-party committee makes a series of recommendations to Government and service providers, including a demand for special targets to measure how well they are preparing to support an older population.

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson, the committee convener, said: "Both our committee and its predecessor have consistently called for more effective collaborative working across public services.

"Resources must be pooled and good practice shared if we are to address demographic change and an ageing population.

"While myriad strategies and initiatives already exist, there is no clear evidence they are effective. We heard from witnesses that only improved partnership working can do that."

The report follows an inquiry into the impact of population changes over the next 20 to 30 years. The number of pensioners in Scotland is expected to rise by 26% by 2035, compared with a 7% increase in the working population.

The number of over-75s is expected to rise by 82% and the number of people aged over 100 is set to increase from 820 at present to 7600 over the same period.

The ageing population will place huge demands on the health service and have a major impact on housing and pension provision, MSPs were told. The changes will require 106,000 Scottish homes to be adapted for the elderly, 40,000 more than now.

The committee called on the Government to provide more details of the budgetary implications of demographic change and provide plans to address future funding gaps. Ministers were also asked to explain how public sector pensions might have to change.

The committee said many health boards and local authorities had failed to undertake long-term planning to meet the needs of an ageing population.