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.

Help for childcare must keep up with the rising cost of living

by Katie Schmuecker

With the cost of bringing up a child now approaching £90 a week, the government needs to do more to help low-earning families, says Katie Schmuecker.

We need a better understanding of poverty to change attitudes

by Jenny Rolinson

A more collaborative approach would help bust the myths about poverty, says Jenny Rolison.

We need new civic institutions to confront the challenges of the 21st century

by Thomas Neumark

Online groups like Mumsnet can fill the void left by declining trade unions, social clubs and political parties, says Thomas Neumark.

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.