I wonder whether the Minister is aware that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has shown that nearly half of people in poverty in the UK are either themselves disabled or live in a household with someone who is. As he says, covid has exacerbated that hardship, and the inequalities disabled people face will only be exacerbated by the fact that those who are on not on universal credit will not have benefited from the uplift of £20 that was applied to UC. So has he, or anyone else in the Government, carried out an equalities impact assessment on the decision not to extend the £20 uplift to legacy benefits?
The reason my Scottish National party colleagues and I, and others, have repeatedly called for this £20 uplift is that covid-19 costs people with disabilities significantly more money than it does most others, yet they have been completely ignored. Last week, a petition from the Disability Benefits Consortium calling for the £20 uplift, which had 119,000 signatures, was handed in to the Chancellor. As the Minister who represents the interests of people with disabilities, did he ask the Chancellor to do this in today’s spending review? If not, what did he ask for?
Data published by Scope this week shows that the disability employment gap stands at a shocking 29.2% nationwide. Many are fearful that the gap will increase with the economic fallout of covid-19. We clearly need a long-term, multi-pronged approach to address this deeply entrenched issue, so will the Minister commit to examining Scope’s five policy asks and work with his Department for Work and Pensions colleagues to put them into practice?
The impact of the pandemic on unemployment is being felt in every constituency. It is more important than ever to ensure that those living with disabilities are treated equally in the recruitment process, so what steps is my right hon. Friend taking to ensure that protections that support equality throughout the recruitment process stay prominent as we focus now on recovery? 
I will be hosting a national group of experts on decolonising the British curriculum in January 2021. Will the Secretary of State attend that event to listen to the expert testimonies from the academics regarding this important issue? 
What assessment she has made of the effect on disabled people of the covid-19 outbreak. 
Between March and July, disabled people, including people with a health condition or impairment, accounted for almost 60% of all covid deaths, yet a survey of disabled people in Greater Manchester revealed that eight out of 10 were not included in the official Government shielded group, in spite of 57% having significant support needs. With the second wave upon us, what is the Secretary of State doing to ensure that all clinically vulnerable people are shielded and properly supported?
The charity SignHealth has been working to provide British Sign Language translation for covid sufferers in health settings free of charge since the pandemic began. It has submitted a grant application to the Department of Health and Social Care, but so far that has not been awarded. Will my hon. Friend use his best endeavours with colleagues at that Department to get this apparent blockage shifted? As we seek to avoid a second wave of the virus, we also have to ensure that deaf people who are reliant on BSL as their main form of communication are not disadvantaged in their access to information.
Before I ask my question, I would like to pay tribute to the many people out there with disabilities who have been helping others during the pandemic. It is important to keep saying that having a disability does not stop someone contributing. However, for many people, their disability prevents them from having a job, and they are dependent on social security payments. Sometimes they have to jump through hoops to prove that they are disabled enough to “deserve” those payments. Face-to-face work capability assessments are on hold right now, understandably, but the wait is causing untold stress, so will the Minister represent the needs of those people to the Work and Pensions Secretary and join me in calling for paper-based assessments to be made available to everyone?
Research by my union, the GMB, has shown that a failure to raise statutory sick pay to Liverpool rates has had serious detrimental effects on particular groups in our society. The status quo is disproportionately harming women workers, older workers, disabled workers, black and minority ethnic workers, workers who hold particular religious beliefs and workers who are married or in a civil partnership. Does the Minister agree that the Government should do an equality impact assessment of these policies and do more to ensure that statutory sick pay is set at a liveable rate?
We know that elderly and disabled people, especially those living alone, are less likely to access online platforms. During this covid pandemic, knowing the rules and understanding the ideas and information behind them is critical, so will this UK Government be re-establishing regular briefings, including British Sign Language translation, as we have in Scotland, so that no one misses out on vital information?
What recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the training and competition opportunities for young (a) female and (b) disabled athletes preparing to take part in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024 and beyond.