Cost of living crisis: Government pours cold water over calls for student loan repayment holiday

The Government's poured cold water over calls for a student loan repayment holiday during the cost of living crisis.

National doesn't like the idea either, but its leader Christopher Luxon did like working a shift at McDonald's on Thursday.

"Hi. Welcome to McDonald's, it's Christopher Luxon. Can I take your order please?" Luxon asked one customer. 

He was back at his first job, building a big mac - and he's lovin' it. 

"Quarter pounder, large fries, chocolate shake. Bloody good!" said Luxon. 

But Labour's giving him a serve.

"I can understand why Mr Luxon's keeping his job options open," said acting Prime Minister Grant Robertson. 

"Ironic, hypocritical," said Workplace Relations Minister Michael Wood. 

Ministers are crying hypocrisy because just on Wednesday as McDonalds workers were celebrating getting fair pay agreements, Luxon was promising to take them away.

National finance spokesperson Nicola Willis is denying her leader is a hypocrite. 

"Absolutely not. The truth is real wages under Labour have gone backwards," she said.

One student at the McDonald's store told Luxon they're "trying to pay off my uni upfront".

National isn't backing calls for a break on repaying student loans while the cost of everything is so high.

Andrew Lessells from the New Zealand Union of Student Associations says something needs to be done. 

"We need to do something about the impact student loan repayments have on people," Lessells said.

Student loan repayments take a huge chunk out of graduates' pay - 12 per cent. Someone earning the median wage of $56,000 a year pays $80 a week on compulsory repayments.

Pausing payments for a year though is not cheap

"It'd cost the Government $1.6 billion. That's a fair amount of cash," said Infometrics principal economist Brad Olsen. 

Willis said the Government "would have to justify why someone earning a lot less should pay tax to subsidise a university graduate".

Robertson, the Finance Minister, also isn't in favour. 

"Clearly there's a lot of support available through the income support system but that's not one we're looking at at this stage."

It means students will just have to keep working - like Luxon at Maccas - to pay off their debt.