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.

A credible plan to tackle poverty must go beyond election-friendly headlines

by Helen Barnard

Alan Milburn this week warned that the parties were failing to address poverty. With poverty on the political agenda, Helen Barnard assesses where their plans need to go further.

It’s time to rethink how we approach poverty in this country

by Chris Goulden

Poverty costs us all – but with the right plan we can do something about it, says Chris Goulden.

Five ways the Liberal Democrats could do more to reduce poverty

by Helen Barnard

In the third of our party conference blogs, Helen Barnard looks at whether the Lib Dems’ plans for their next manifesto will reduce poverty.

Why the Conservatives’ long-term economic plan must also reduce poverty

by Katie Schmuecker

In the second of a series of blogs during party conference season, Katie Schmuecker says the Conservatives’ focus on the economy must have poverty reduction at its heart.

Why Labour must make a fresh start on poverty at party conference

by Chris Goulden

In the first of a series of blogs during party conference season, Chris Goulden assesses the successes and failures of Labour’s approach to tackling poverty, and what they should do next.

#indyref provides Scotland a once in a generation opportunity to tackle poverty

by Julia Unwin

Whatever the outcome of Thursday’s independence referendum vote, Scotland must get to grips with high levels of poverty in the country, says Julia Unwin.

Benefits sanctions are adding to bleak prospects for young people

by Beth Watts

Sanctions are having unintended consequences and may increase the risk of young people living in poverty, says Beth Watts.

Tackle students’ low attainment by addressing culture of low expectations

by Sam Freedman

Poverty alone doesn’t necessarily lead to poor exam results. We need to look at attitudes among families, communities and schools, says Sam Freedman.

Care about poverty? Here are 10 reasons why you also need to think about ethnicity

by Helen Barnard

Ethnicity matters when it comes to tackling poverty. But, says Helen Barnard, it's not about broad generalisations.

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.