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.

Six things about how poverty affects different ethnic groups in the UK

by Helen Barnard

Helen Barnard asks: What have we learned about the economic situation for people of different ethnicities?

Local leadership on the Living Wage is an important step in tackling in-work poverty

by Josh Stott

As six Yorkshire councils commit to paying the Living Wage, Josh Stott looks at the positive impact this could have in the region.

We need to concentrate on ending poverty – not just reducing food bank use

by Helen Barnard

Food bank use by itself should not be a measure of success or failure, says Helen Barnard.

Welfare to work policy needs a radical shake up if we’re going to meaningfully reduce poverty

by Josh Stott

Getting people off benefits isn’t enough – they need sustained employment with opportunities for progression too, says Josh Stott. Could greater devolution of welfare to work help?

The #dementiawords we use matter

by Philly Hare

Dementia is being discussed more and more in the media and everyday life. But, says Philly Hare, the words we all use can affect how people with dementia feel about themselves, and how we all see dementia.

Low earners could be left behind in retirement following pensions shake-up

by Claire Turner

Unlocking pension pots will help many retirees, but only if they have money in the first place and know how to make it work for them, says Claire Turner.

The debate on citizen’s income needs to go wider

by Chris Goulden

Introducing a citizen's income would need society to change; we need a wider debate about the modern welfare state, says Chris Goulden.

Reducing tuition fees sounds progressive – but is it a bad use of £3 billion?

by Helen Barnard

There are better ways of using £3 billion for the benefit of disadvantaged young people than cutting university tuition fees, says Helen Barnard.

10 facts you need to know before the general election

by Claire Ainsley

As we approach one of the most unpredictable general elections in recent history, one thing is certain. The facts behind the policy statements will be in dispute – and the public know it. This week’s NatCen poll for the UK Statistics Authority shows that while the public do trust official statistics, they just don’t trust the media or politicians to present them honestly.

Reform for NEETs must work for those most in need

by Alice Rowland

Opportunities for young people to gain skills are welcome – but reforms must be tailored to local labour markets, says Alice Rowland.