The National Risk Register (NRR) provides the Government's assessment of the likelihood and potential impacts of a range of risks to the safety and security of the UK. In this box box we compared the topics covered by the NRR and those we have focussed on in our risk analysis.
This box is based on National Risk Register data from December 2020 .
The National Risk Register (NRR) provides the Government’s assessment of the likelihood and potential impacts of a range of risks to the safety and security of the UK.a It covers a broad range of risks arising from: malicious attacks, serious and organised crime, environmental hazards, human and animal health, major accidents and societal risks. As we do in our fiscal risk reporting, the NRR places risks in a matrix of impact and likelihood (Table A).
Most of the risks listed in the NRR (32 of the 38 risks in total) have indicative economic impacts under £1 billion and so are unlikely to be large enough to merit a specific focus in our work. Where risks, such as crime, are common, and the fiscal consequences covered by departmental budgets, they may be thought of as already in our baseline and so do not represent additional fiscal risks. That said, a growing number of major risks on the NRR have now been explicitly covered in our work. Looking at the largest NRR risks (those with an indicative economic impact greater than £1 billion):
- Our first FRR in 2017 included a stress test looking at the fiscal implications of another major financial crisis.
- Our 2019 and 2021 FRRs looked at the fiscal risks from unmitigated climate change, which encapsulate some of the environmental hazards included in the NRR, including increased coastal and river flooding.
- Our 2021 FRR also reviewed the lessons from the Covid pandemic, and this report summarises the potential risks of a vaccine-escaping variant.
- Chapter 2 of this FRS covers the growing risks from cyber-attacks and rising geopolitical tensions which are the source of several risks of malicious attacks identified in the NRR.
- Chapter 3 of this FRS discusses the fiscal risks associated with the construction of new nuclear power plants, but does not explicitly address the risks of a major nuclear accident – a high-impact but very low-likelihood risk identified on the NRR.
The NRR will be updated later this year and we will continue to use it to inform our risk reporting.
Table A: The National Risk Register’s risk assessment matrix
This box was originally published in Fiscal risks and sustainability – July 2022