Teenagers turning 18 are able to claim a voucher worth a lot of money to use in their communities. With €500 (about $560), they can purchase movie tickets, theater tickets, concert tickets, books, visits to national parks, and museums. Over half a million people are expected to claim vouchers and will cost the government €290 million (around $327 million). But they say that it’s worth it.
The government wants its young people to experience things that they may not have had the chance to. To feel appreciated and welcome into society as they turn 18, teens born in 1998 can claim the benefits and use them until they expire at the end of 2017 or they use it all.
It’s clever. In order to get the benefits, they register through an app that verifies their credentials and creates a voucher for the kids to use. Each purchase is monitored to be sure that it fits the guidelines and is “culturally enriching.”
They are calling is a “culture bonus,” and people are excited. The program is being launched in response to the terror attacks in Paris, but more people are focusing on the good that it will do in their society.
Next year, the government is planning to try a similar program for teachers to use towards their professional development.
People around the world are wondering if these vouchers might lead to similar programs around the world. What would you have done with $500 when you turned 18?
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