Programa de Cultura do Trabalhador – Vale Cultura [Workers' Culture Program – Culture Voucher]
Known as Vale-Cultura, the Workers' Culture Program was created through Law nº 12761, of 27 December 2012 and regulated by Decree Nº 8084, of 26 August 2013. According to Article 2 of this Act, this program has the following goals: i) to allow for access to and enjoyment of cultural products and services; ii) to encourage visitation to artistic and cultural venues; iii) to encourage attendance to cultural and artistic events and shows.
The Culture Voucher is a partnership of the Federal Government with businesses aimed at benefitting the Brazilian workers who have formal work contracts. It is, therefore, an institutional measure of national range. The benefit is granted to the worker through a magnetic prepaid card with a monthly credit of 14.79 USD. The amount, which is cumulative and has no date of expiry, can be used to purchase entry on theaters, cinema, museums, shows, the circus, or to buy CDs, DVDs, books, magazines and newspapers, or even to pay for monthly fees of cultural courses and workshops in the entire national territory. Social security taxes or compensation funds for time of service do not incide over the amount spent with the Culture Voucher by the companies that offer the benefit to their employees, and it is exempt of income taxes. Moreover, the beneficiary companies taxed over real profit may get a discount of up to 1% of their income tax because of the amount spent with the Culture Voucher.
For this particular program, services and products are defined as follows:
Cultural services: They are cultural and artistic activities provided by corporate entities active in the following cultural sectors: visual arts, performing arts, audiovisual, music, cultural heritage, literature, humanities and information.
Cultural products: They are artistic, cultural and informational material produced in any format or media by persons or businesses, whose characteristics fit the cultural sectors described above.
Participants of the program are: beneficiary companies (employers), its employees, receiving businesses (providers of cultural products and services) and card operators. The beneficiaries are the companies that offer the benefit to its employees and are granted the program's fiscal benefits. The receiving companies are the business entities licensed to receive the Culture Voucher as a mode of payment for a cultural service or product, such as movie theaters, concert venues, bookstores and other commercial establishments. Finally, the operators are companies authorized by the Ministry
The Culture Voucher is the first policy by the Ministry of Culture geared exclusively toward cultural expenditure. The expectation is that it will directly benefit, until 2020, 2 million workers with the Culture Voucher. With greater access to and enjoyment of cultural services and goods, it is an instrument for the increased well-being and quality of life of the recipients. Indirectly, the Culture Voucher fosters the market of cultural products and services by making available a portion of the workers' income for the sector, making cultural offers attractive to the recipients.
* The management of the Workers' Culture Program falls under the wing of the Secretariat of Cultural Promotion and Incentives of the Ministry of Culture. However, the monitoring of the program and the application of any applicable penalties falls under the joint competence of the Ministries of Culture, Labor and Social Security, as well as the Treasury, according to provisions of Decree Nº 8084, of 26 August 2013.
The management and evaluation of the Workers' Culture Program is conducted based on the data sent by operator companies to the Ministry of Culture. With that data, it is possible to monitor the participation of workers and cultural sectors where the recipients have used the benefit. Up until 9 March 2016, 471,800 workers have benefitted from the program.
In 2015, around 20,699.65 USD were invested in Business Rounds to promote the Workers' Culture Program among public managers, corporate executives, cultural spaces, cultural products and services providers, operators, workers and workers' unions. The goal is to share information about how the program works, as it is simple and accessible, with positive results for all the audiences involved, aimed at expanding the participation of employers, receiving venues and workers in all the regions of Brazil. Also in 2015, the advertising campaign for the Culture Voucher was re-ignited in social media.