SCOTLAND’S ageing population poses a risk to the country’s budget, MSPs have warned.

Holyrood’s finance committee said it meant a review was needed of the 2016 Fiscal Framework governing how Westminster funds the budget alongside more devolved taxes.

The MSPs said the “demographic risk” raised two fundamental questions: whether Scotland had the powers to address it, and whether the Fiscal Framework can take it into account.

In particular, it said the “different demographic dynamic” meant the issue of whether immigration policy should remain wholly reserved should be re-examined after Brexit.

The unanimous cross-party report highlighted the expected divergence between Scotland’s population and that in the rest of the UK from 2018 onwards.

In Scotland, the working age (16 to 64) population is set to decline, while the number of over-75s increases sharply, straining services funded by a shrinking tax base.

South of the border, the working age population is set to grow, largely thanks to migration.

According to the Scottish Fiscal Commission, the Scottish Government’s budget oversight body, this pattern is expected to place a drag on GDP growth in Scotland.

Committee convener Bruce Crawford MSP said: “The bad news is that while our ageing population is not new, it is set to accelerate from 2021, and this is happening faster than rest of the UK.

"In the longer term, all future Scottish Governments will need to respond to the pressures this creates."

The report, produced as part of the 2019/20 budget process, coincided with a new poll showing Scotland was the most pro-migration nation in the UK.

The Survation survey for Channel 4 found 44% of Scots believed migration had a positive impact, compared to 30% who disagreed.

Only people in London were more supportive of migration, with a majority of English regions viewing migration as having a negative impact.

The poll also found Scots are overwhelmingly supported continuing freedom of movement in order to secure a Brexit deal with the EU – with 67% agreeing and only 16% opposed.

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said: “

With the Tory hostile environment approach so out of touch with Scottish attitudes, the case for devolving migration powers is growing even stronger.”