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.

Build more homes to strengthen families and reduce poverty

by Tim Montgomerie

We need a political model that values social as well as economic growth, says Tim Montgomerie.

Should large families face benefit sanctions?

by Helen Barnard

As a leading think tank says parents should only be able to claim child benefit for their first four children, Helen Barnard questions what the move would actually achieve. 

Getting just five per cent more single parents into work could save the government £436m

by Sumi Rabindrakumar

Employment must be made a viable route out of poverty for struggling lone parent families, says Sumi Rabindrakumar.

Council tax arrears rise fastest where support is cut most

by Sabrina Bushe

Fifteen months after Council Tax Support was localised, new figures show that arrears have increased by 20 per cent.

How lives have changed through a neighbourhood approach to loneliness

by Julie Wrigley

A grassroots approach can make a massive difference to local people experiencing, or at risk of, loneliness, says Julie Wrigley of Qa Research.

The “mustn’t grumble” British pensioner has been consigned to history

by Abigail Davis

Today’s older generation is refusing to accept traditional self-denying attitudes, says Abigail Davis.

What the Rowntrees taught us about good capitalism

by Shaun Rafferty

Nestle’s decision to pay its entire UK workforce the Living Wage is to be applauded – but confectioner Joseph Rowntree saw the benefit of offering decent wages more than a century ago, says Shaun Rafferty.

Ignoring progression in the low-skilled workforce is holding back city growth

by Jonathan Schifferes

UK cities should have new powers to address in-work poverty and support growth, says Jonathan Schifferes.

Poorer families spend more than £4 in every £10 on bills and housing costs

by Matthew Oakley

Reducing rising household bills by making markets work for consumers is vital to tackle poverty, says Matthew Oakley of Which?

What today’s Households Below Average Incomes (HBAI) report doesn’t say

by Sanne Velthuis

The worst may be yet to come for UK households in poverty – only a comprehensive strategy can close the gap between their needs and resources.