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.

How are household debts being affected by the economic recovery?

by Aleks Collingwood

With the average household debt reaching £3,500 at the last count, those on the lowest incomes are being hardest hit, says Aleks Collingwood.

Can self employment be a route out of poverty for low-paid workers?

by Helen Barnard

Self-employment can be an opportunity but, says Helen Barnard, many people are doing it because they can’t find secure jobs. Research from the Social Market Foundation published today shows how self-employment could be made a better option for people on low incomes.

Housing demand is not just about numbers - it's about tenures too

by Brian Robson

Access to good, affordable housing is critical if we are to reduce poverty in the UK and make sure housing is affordable for future generations, says Brian Robson.

Falling earnings have wiped out employment gains for poverty

by Chris Goulden

Most child poverty is now the result of low hours or low pay, not worklessness. Chris Goulden looks at what this means for working families.

What do low-paid workers think would improve their working lives?

by Louise Woodruff

Employers have a huge role to play in delivering better jobs in traditionally low-paid sectors, says Louise Woodruff.

We need higher productivity to improve people's living standards

by Katie Schmuecker

There is no doubt that low income working families need to see measures to improve their living standards, but – asks Katie Schmuecker - has this week’s ‘budget for working people’ delivered it?

How much do families rely on tax credits?

by Julia Unwin

Reducing in-work support without increasing take-home pay first will mean low-earning families fall even further short of a decent living standard, says Julia Unwin.

What can we learn from the Households Below Average Income figures?

by Aleks Collingwood

Aleks Collingwood reflects on the what the statistics on Households Below Average Income show us - and what they don't reveal.

Four proposals on #fairerscotland

by James McCormick

We need to face up to inequalities, and find solutions, to reduce poverty in a fair way, says Jim McCormick.

#Dementiaville failed to give people with dementia a voice

by Wendy Mitchell

People with dementia have a voice. But, says blogger Wendy Mitchell, the three episodes of Dementiaville failed to show the perspective of anyone living with dementia.