The Macedonian Parliament adopted the law instituting a tax break for the purchase of domestic and IT products over the long October 11 weekend. The measure is meant to boost spending and the main criticism against it is that it’s not being done more often, but this first such “VAT free weekend” comes at a time of record setting infection rates in Macedonia.

The opposition VMRO-DPMNE party criticized the scope of the measure, but mainly warned that it will create long lines in the shopping malls at a time when the citizens are urged to limit their social contacts.

Instituting four such weekends throughout the year will spread out the crowds and protect public health, VMRO representatives said in the Parliament.

Consumers will receive the value added tax they pay on products and computers worth up to 30,000 denars in total. The tax is set at 18 or 5 percent. The ruling SDSM party pointed to the “VAT free weekend” as a chance for poor families who don’t have computers needed to have their children follow online teaching, but many IT companies have actually raised prices in anticipation of the tax break.