Welcome to the JRF blog, where our experts comment on topical social issues and new research on the themes of poverty, place and ageing society. We encourage comments and discussion – please read our comments policy.

Lowering the benefits cap makes least well-off poorer

by Helen Barnard

Cutting benefits for the least well-off doesn’t help people move into work – evidence shows it just makes them poorer, says Helen Barnard.

Inequality must be explicit on the cities agenda

by Josh Stott

Yesterday’s Cities Outlook 2015 event raises some important questions around the growing inequalities between and within cities in the UK. Unless recognition of these inequalities becomes a more explicit component of the cities agenda, things are only going to get worse, says Josh Stott.

Full employment alone will not close the living standards gap

by Katie Schmuecker

Full employment must go hand-in-hand with better pay and government support for low-paid workers as a new report highlights the gulf in living standards for many families, says Katie Schmeucker. 

Playing the media’s ‘poke fun at people in poverty’ game gets us nowhere

by Abigail Scott Paul

Instead of trying to poke fun, lay blame and stigmatise people in poverty, let’s have a more constructive debate in the media, says Abigail Scott Paul.

We still need more work to raise the poorest people's living standards

by Katie Schmuecker

Political parties need a comprehensive plan to address the poorest people’s living standards, says Katie Schmuecker.

The NHS: reducing poverty is the key to easing pressure on health services

by Helen Barnard

To improve health, we need a joined-up approach to reduce poverty, says Helen Barnard.

The benefits cap: a few people got jobs (for now) or moved house; the majority just got poorer

by Helen Barnard

The benefits cap is getting more people into work, says new research. Helen Barnard asks whether this is all good news.

Loneliness affects us all and we need to act

by Tracey Robbins

The BBC's #take10 campaign is not the first attempt to highlight the issue of loneliness, and - says Tracey Robbins - we need to make sure we all act to prevent it.

Hunger inquiry shows why we urgently need a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy

by Helen Barnard

Rising living costs and poorly-paid jobs are at the heart of poverty in the UK, says Helen Barnard.

By ducking the childcare challenge, the Smith Commission falls short on poverty reduction

by James McCormick

Will further devolution help to reduce poverty in Scotland? Jim McCormick examines the Smith report to find out.