Two young people select a book. / AVELINO GOMEZ

Young people in Spain to receive 400-euro culture 'cheque' when they turn 18

It will allow them to support the sector that was hit hard by the pandemic and invest in cultural activities including cinema, theatre and music concerts as well as purchase books

JOSÉ ANTONIO GUERRERO

Young Spaniards will have a gift from the State when they reach the age of 18 in the form of a 400-euro voucher that can be spent on cultural and artistic activities.

The government scheme aims to bring culture closer to the youth and will allow the group to invest in artistic activities and cultural products, such as books or tickets to movies, theatre or music concerts.

France and Italy have similar schemes, where the aid amounts to 500 euros.

Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced this direct aid on Wednesday (6 October), which will be incorporated into the State budgets, so that, if it gets the go ahead, it will come into force in 2022. He did so just one day after announcing 250 euros of monthly aid for housing rental to those under 35 years of age with incomes below 23,725 euros. A double economic nod to young people in less than 24 hours.

This initiative marks a new path in the State's cultural policy, at least in terms of bringing the sector closer to young people. Sanchez said the aim of the "exciting measure" is to create a "virtuous circle" that encourages the consumption of culture and protects the “important” sector that has suffered from the pandemic.

The scheme will cost the State about 200 million euros per year and the aid is limited exclusively to young people who turn 18 in 2022, about half a million of them. If it is approved, it will take effect on 1 January.