Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Monday that the government’s 2023 budget bill will be amended so the €500 bonus given to young people on their 18th birthday to spend on culture-linked items and activities will be means-tested rather than scrapped completely.
The decision to end the 18App bonus, which youngsters can spend on things such as books, music, theatre shows and concerts, had come under fire from many quarters.
The bonus costs the state around €230million a year and there have been some cases of fraud linked to the scheme.
“We don’t want to abolish the bonus for 18-year-olds for culture,” Meloni said in a regular video post on Facebook. “But there is a no reason for the child of a millionaire, of a parliamentarian, or for my daughter to receive it.
“An income limit should be introduced for those who have access to this measure and the content and things that this money can be used to buy should be better defined.
“I also think it is necessary to work on scams [linked to the culture bonus].
“So I confirm that we intend to amend this measure, without taking this money way from its original destination – young people and culture”.