Italy is giving all its young people a EUR500 'culture bonus'

Italy may have a 40% youth unemployment rate, but it's definitely doing some things for its young people better than Theresa May's Government is currently managing to.

The Italian government has announced a 500 euro (£430) "culture bonus" so its 18-year-olds can take in theatre, gigs, art, museums and archaeological sites. The money has to be spent through a special app, and they have until the end of 2017 to spend it all.

People gather at Rio Canneregio as Nu' Art Group artists perform during the Carnival Grand Opening show
Nu' Art Group artists perform during the Carnival Grand Opening show in Venice (Luca Bruno/AP)

The project was initially announced following November's terrorist attacks in Paris, and begins on September 15, with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi saying: "This is a bonus for kids coming of age, to give them the symbolic awareness of what it means to be an adult in Italy - a main protagonist and heir of the greatest cultural heritage in the world.

"We will not give in to terror... we have centuries of history that proclaim the fact that culture will beat ignorance, that beauty is more tenacious than barbarism."

Meanwhile analysis by Arts Council England earlier this year revealed that UK government spending on the arts fell by £56.6 million between 2009 and 2014, at the same time as local government budgets have been slashed by 40%.

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