Here are the business stories making the headlines across Scotland and the UK this morning.
NHS Grampian ‘can’t afford’ switch to digital appointment system
NHS Grampian cannot afford the switch to a digital appointment system, the health board’s chief executive has admitted.
Caroline Hiscox said that while they would like to move to an electronic system, “financial constraints” made this impossible.
Such a system would allow appointments and potentially test results to be shared with patients by email or text message rather than by letter alone.
There are concerns patients could miss critical appointments because of delays in the postal system, according to North East MSP Liam Kerr.
Jeremy Hunt’s tax traps are hurting Britain’s growth, says OBR chief
Jeremy Hunt’s tax traps are hurting the economy because they do not make work pay, according to a top official at the Government’s spending watchdog.
David Miles, an executive member of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), said the high effective tax rates facing many workers on every pound of extra income were “bad for growth”.
Mr Miles said levies that “disincentivise work, saving, investment” were also holding back the economy.
While the OBR official said the Chancellor’s decision to cut National Insurance (NI) by 2% in the Autumn Statement provided an “unambiguously positive” incentive to work, the fiscal watchdog noted that workers will still be paying more tax in five years time because of a series of stealth levies implemented by the Chancellor.
Saudi investment fund to buy 10% stake in Heathrow airport
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has agreed to buy a 10% stake in Heathrow airport from Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial.
Another 15% in its parent company, FGP Topco, will be sold to France-based private equity fund Ardian.
Ferrovial, which has owned a stake since 2006, announced that the deal was worth £2.37bn ($3bn).
The transaction is still subject to regulatory conditions, according to the firm.
Cost of living: Shoppers 'overcharged' for branded goods including baby formula and baked beans, watchdog finds
Suppliers of branded goods including baked beans and pet food have "pushed up prices by more than their costs", according to the competition watchdog.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been examining 10 product categories in a bid to see if shoppers, already struggling amid the continuing cost of living crisis, are being ripped off.
It said that while some increases were justified, to cover rising costs from elements such as energy and ingredients, there was clearly some profiteering.
"The evidence collected by the CMA indicates that, over the last two years, around three-quarters of branded suppliers in products such as infant formula, baked beans, mayonnaise, and pet food - have increased their unit profitability and, in doing so, have contributed to higher food price inflation", the statement said.