Young people run into bureaucracy: “Applying for the cultural bonus is more difficult than getting a high school diploma” | Culture

A concert by Rosalía, the new installment of the video game FIFAa volume with the latest adventures of Spiderman or a subscription to a platform to enjoy the fashion series. And there are still many more options offered by the youth cultural bonus: an aid of 400 euros that those who turn 18 in 2022 can invest in the cultural industry. The incentive started on July 25, as one of the government’s star measures. But for now the road to achieve it is not easy. And much less for an age range that is not used to dealing with bureaucracy. To this are added problems with the servers of the official portals and an overloaded agenda that complicates obtaining an appointment to carry out the necessary procedures in person, according to testimonies collected by this newspaper. The outlook also worsens for those who live in small towns and municipalities, where there are fewer face-to-face offices.

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The Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, declared this Wednesday in an interview on TVE’s La 1 that the difficulties in the face of the “availability of requests” that are arriving were understandable. So far they have received more than 180,000 of the 500,000 to which they aspire —the total of young people born in 2004— and more than 3,000 companies have joined. Therefore, more than half of the beneficiaries are missing, with a deadline that expires on October 15. Culture refused to offer more data to this newspaper, nor specify how many of the requests have been successful.

Meanwhile, applicants share on social networks how complicated it is to apply for the bonus. A complaint that is repeated on Twitter: “Easier has been the baccalaureate” (@juliabarroso_g). Others: ”Almost worse than looking for a flat” (@OsorioClaara). when you ask “They should also give you a computer engineering degree with honors” (@turtlehoodie). EITHER “The time of life that I am investing is worth more than 400 euros” (@s0nia_biene). Where do so many complications come from? Esther Rodríguez, director of the portal askhelp.comwhere they advise people who are not capable of achieving it on their own, assures that “the problems are multiple, although above all at a technological level”.

The main barrier applicants run into has to do with the authentication system. “It generates more failures than it should and is what has been causing the most headaches, at least until recently. Previously, you could only apply with an electronic certificate and/or permanent cl@ve, two systems that require certain technical knowledge and experience in procedures that not everyone has,” says Rodríguez. In addition, to obtain both, a face-to-face appointment is necessary, something that is not easy at this time, both due to the summer calendar and due to the saturation of the offices in charge of this management. Although there has also been room for improvement: “Recently, the procedure has been slightly simplified and now, if you have already turned 18 in 2022, you can apply with a digital certificate and DNI. And if you turn 18 this year, but you are still a minor, you need a Cl@ve PIN and a permanent Cl@ve”, explains the director.

The portal warns of the need for a digital certificate, DNIe or Cl@ve.The portal warns of the need for a digital certificate, DNIe or Cl@ve.

Julián Quintana, 17 years old, agrees like many young people his age with this diagnosis about the difficulty of doing the paperwork. He highlights the discomfort of the official portals: “The problem is above all how uncomfortable the State pages are. Because in the bonus application itself you can see the effort to take you by the hand and make it beautiful. But as soon as you have to register in Cl@ve or provide the virtual certificate, one gets lost and ends up resorting to external pages with guides on what to do”. In short, “in the end you end up finding out, but it’s very complex.”

What this young man is clear on is what he wants to spend his money on: comics, digital video games and often going to the movies, he will even try the theater. The Ministry of Culture established how those 400 euros must be distributed: 200 for live arts, 100 for cultural products in physical support and another 100 for online consumption. Among other fields, it excluded bullfighting, gastronomy or fashion, and established that the purchase of books must be done in person, fearing that giants like Amazon would take a good part of the cake.

Once the bonus has been successfully requested, it will be under review.  The aid will not begin to be granted until September.Once the bonus has been successfully requested, it will be under review. The aid will not begin to be granted until September.

Natalia Montero, 18, plans to spend most of the 400 euros between books and video games. She is not so interested in subscription platforms. Both she and her friends are running into a wall when making the request: “When we tried to register after taking out Cl @ ve on the voucher page, it still asked us for the digital certificate and the self-signature. However, we have been trying for several days and there is no response from the page, it only shows that there may be a problem with the pop-up windows.

María Soledad Cruz-Guzmán García, spokesperson for Culture of the PP in Congress, adds two other complaints. On the one hand, the chosen moment, “in the middle of August, late with respect to the promises, when the summer and the big festivals have passed for consumers and, at the same time, for small companies, it will be more difficult to adhere” . And, on the other hand, communication: his party was outraged because the minister picked up an article on Twitter The Huffington Post titled Are you 18 years old? In addition to voting you can enjoy the 400 euros of the Cultural Bonus. “He failed to say ‘vote for us’,” lamented Cruz-Guzmán García. And he stresses that the obligation to purchase books in person punishes the portals of Spanish bookshops, such as allyourbooks.comor the young people of the emptied Spain.

Culture did not answer any of the questions from this newspaper about these problems and their possible solutions. Ministry sources limited themselves to underlining that “the process has just begun” and that “the current phase is that of receiving requests through the web-enabled platform.” In other words, no one has yet received the so-called “purse card”, either in real or virtual form, to start spending their bonus. Iceta, in La 1, estimated that they will begin to arrive “throughout September.” The minister also stressed that part of the difficulties are due to the fact that it is the “first time” that this project has been launched and that, over the years, it will be more successful. This is what happened in France or Italy, the models that inspired the Spanish cultural bond.

In They believe that everything would be much simpler if the Government made use of the census data that it has registered: “It could perfectly send this voucher directly to their homes, without the need for prior processing. In a certain way, it seems that the measure also focuses on the citizens of this country already obtaining these authentication systems, for their not so distant procedures on-line”. Here is the only cost of the youth cultural bonus: learning to deal with bureaucracy.

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