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National Risk Assessment 2015 - Overview of Strategic Risks


The Government has today published the National Risk Assessment 2015 – Overview of Strategic Risks.

It is part of a process that Government has instituted to ensure that the hard-won gains of the recovery are not dissipated.

Earlier this year, as part of the reform of the Budgetary framework, the Spring Economic Statement set out prudent, medium-term economic policies that will secure the recovery.

In the summer, Government organised the National Economic Dialogue which discussed how a stronger economy can strengthen our society and stimulated awareness of competing demands and resource constraints.

The National Risk Assessment 2015 articulates a number of risks which could threaten our progress and which should feature in discussions about Ireland's development.

It sets out a list of strategic risks, both financial and non-financial, which Ireland faces, with a view to stimulating public debate on those risks and what are the appropriate responses.

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said that this Government 'is committed to ensuring that we never return to the boom and bust cycle of the recent past and that we never again experience the catastrophic effects that this had on our society and the National Risk Assessment is a key part of delivering on this commitment'.

The list of risks has been prepared following collaboration across Government Departments, an Open Policy Debate involving invitees from academic, civic society and public service sectors and a process of public consultation.

Risks have been classified under the following headings: (i) economic, (ii) environmental, (iii) geo-political, (iv) social and (v) technological.

This is the second year a National Risk Assessment has been prepared, and the list reflects some changes in the national and international context since 2014, including Britain’s future in Europe; misalignments in the Irish housing market, and the rise of Islamic State in the Middle East which has added to the high level of volatility in the region.

There are of course many other trends, some of a more gradual nature, which affect an assessment of risks facing the country.

Reflecting these developments, this analysis of potential risks in 2015 has suggested some changes to the list drawn up in 2014.  These include:

  • a new risk relating to the Impact of Quantitative Easing
  • a stand-alone risk on Misalignments in the property market
  • a greater focus on the Uncertainties over the UK’s relationship with the EU
  • a new risk relating to Social expectations of greater publicexpenditure

The Taoiseach has stated that 'we do not pretend that Government can anticipate every risk, but by being open to considering the full range of issues that could impact Ireland’s economic and social development, we can ensure that we have a real and mature discussion about the challenges that Ireland faces and how these should be addressed'.