The Spectator

Barometer | 3 November 2016

Also in our Barometer column: work capability assessments, car-making countries and health tourism

Strike force

Nissan is to expand its plant in Sunderland, building two new models there. The Japanese company is praised for not losing a day to strikes in three decades in the city. But labour relations weren’t always so good.

— In 1953, when part of Nissan’s business was assembling Austin cars in Japan under licence, the company suffered a bitter
100-day strike. Occupying US forces became involved, helping the Japanese government to arrest union leaders.

— As a result of the strike, a new, less militant union was formed, with a Harvard-educated leader. The union accepted job losses but became involved in discussions over new technology.

Global race

And where did the UK fit in among the world’s largest car producers in the second quarter of 2016?

Cars produced % change on quarter

11.1m – China +6.5%
3.82m – Japan -3.4%
3.03m – Germany +3.5%
2.04m – US +2.1%
2m – South Korea -5.4%
1.75m – India +6.5%
1.32m – Spain +11%
968,000 – Mexico -4.2%
962,000 – France +7.8%
897,000 – UK +12%
Source: OICA

Any benefit?

The government announced a review of work capability assessments. Have they cut the numbers of people on incapacity benefit/employment support allowance since beginning in October 2008?

People on incapacity benefits or ESA
Feb 2008 2.62m
Feb 2009 2.6m
Feb 2010 2.61m
Feb 2011 2.58m
Feb 2012 2.56m
Feb 2013 2.48m
Feb 2014 2.46m
Feb 2015 2.53m
Feb 2016 2.49m
Source: DWP

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International health

The National Audit Office reported that the NHS has fallen short of reclaiming the cost of treatment to overseas patients.
— In 2012/13, £305m of treatment was provided to patients from within the EEA, of which £49m was recovered.

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