Home   News   Article

Column: The prices are not right, we need them to come on down!

By Richard Lochhead

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

AS households in Moray and across the country continue to struggle with the cost of living and the hikes in the cost of the weekly shop, supermarkets are reporting their profits for the year and in some cases the figures are eyewatering.

Close-up detail of a man shopping in a supermarket
Close-up detail of a man shopping in a supermarket

Last week Tesco announced pre-tax annual profits of £2.3bn – up from £882m on the previous year.

Many will question whether such huge profits can be ever justified at a time when so many families can’t afford to put food on the table due to price hikes right across supermarket shelves.

Tesco’s commitment to reward full time employees with a one-off profit share payment of around £300 is welcome and I’m sure staff in local stores will be pleased to receive this bonus.

However what shoppers in Moray, and right across the country, need to see is the cost of essential items coming down to ease pressure on household budgets.

Inflation may be coming down but prices across the board remain higher than many households and businesses can afford.

On some more positive news, I’d like to congratulate NHS Grampian and the team led by Dr Gerald Lip, on their successful pilot of Mia – an artificial intelligence tool used for identifying breast cancers earlier in women.

Mia was used to analyse the mammograms of over 10,000 woman and can identify signs of breast cancer that might not be picked up by doctors.

The tool has the potential to be a real game-changer as it can detect cancer at a much earlier stage – before symptoms have even developed. This will obviously allow for earlier intervention by medical teams giving patients the best chance of successful health outcomes.

This pilot has been a collaboration between NHS Grampian, the University of Aberdeen and Khieron Medical, and is a real example of how artificial intelligence and innovation could be used to transform our health service.

The use of tools like Mia could lead to shorter waiting times for test results, as well as taking pressure off medical teams, and delivering improved survival rates for breast cancer in Scotland.

It is not only health and public services that are set to change due to innovation and AI developments – the impact will be felt right across our society, including in the world of business.

That’s why today I’m bringing together representatives from local public agencies, Forres-based Glasgow School of Art School of Innovation and Technology, and Moray’s business community for a roundtable on innovation.

From the many conversations I’ve had with businesses here in Moray, many of them are already looking at how they can innovate and use new and emerging technologies to grow and improve their service and operations.

And in the past, I have of course sung the praises of GSA’s Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre – based just outside Forres – for some of the incredible projects they’re involved in across the country.

Technology that was once considered the future is right here, right now.

Leaders across every sector and industry need to grab the opportunity to use these tools to do good and to improve the lives of the people they serve – just as NHS Grampian and its partners have done with Mia.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More