The federal budget will cost families thousands of dollars in tax hikes, rising medical costs and reduced benefits, but the Liberal Party will raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from a slew of budget-related fund-raising events.
The Prime Minister flew into Melbourne on Friday on his taxpayer-funded plane for an evening fund-raiser for two senior cabinet colleagues that could raise up to $50,000.
The event followed a similar ''budget briefing'' breakfast starring Treasurer Joe Hockey and former treasurer Peter Costello in Melbourne's ritzy Crown Palladium room on Friday morning, which could raise up to $150,000.
But the traditional round of post-budget dinners on Tuesday night in Parliament House's Great Hall and Mural Hall - which starred Tony Abbott, Mr Hockey and other senior ministers - will likely prove to be the most lucrative, potentially raising up to half a million dollars.
The Labor Party has not missed out on the fund-raising bonanza either, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten attending a lucrative event after his Thursday night budget reply speech that could raise up to $80,000.
Mr Abbott joined Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Small Business Minister Bruce Billson for a post-budget fund-raising dinner at the Mornington Racing Club on Friday night. The dinner at the exclusive Gunnamatta Members' dining room - billed as ''Mornington's premier dining facility'' - cost Liberal Party members $95 a head, while non-members were charged $125 a head.
A two-course dinner was included, but drinks were extra. If the 500-person dining room was fully booked, Mr Hunt and Mr Billson's Federal Electorates Conferences would raise about $50,000 - though the net figure is likely to be lower after costs are factored in.
The breakfast event addressed by Mr Hockey on Friday morning was organised by the Higgins 200 Club, which ''supports'' Liberal rising star and member for Higgins Kelly O'Dwyer. A table of ten at the event cost Higgins 200 club members $1200, while non-members were charged $1350. Premium Corporate tables, which entitle a company's logo to be acknowledged on an audiovisual display, cost $2500.
The Palladium Room - described as a ''stunningly glamorous venue for all your events'' - holds about 1300 people so if the event was fully subscribed, 130 tables at the lowest rate of $1200 a table would raise $156,000, though that figure does not include the net cost of venue hire and catering.
Tuesday night's round of post-budget fund-raisers in Parliament House's Great Hall and Mural Hall cost between $200 and $1000 per person, or $10,000 a table which includes the chance to sit with a senior minister.
The event is not centrally organised by the Liberal Party's federal office and most of the money goes to individual federal MPs and state divisions of the party, with prices varying as a result.
The Great Hall can accommodate about 600 people, so if all tickets were charged at the lowest rate of $200 per person, the event would raise $120,000. At the highest rate of $1000 per person, the event would raise $600,000.
One flyer advertising a related post-budget event in Mural Hall, which seats at least 100 people, requests a $500 donation and touts a dinner that will be addressed by senior ministers.
It is understood the event in Parliament House is not subsidised by taxpayers and the party pays full price for catering and venue hire. Liberal Party federal director Brian Loughnane declined to comment about how much money was raised when contacted by Fairfax Media.
Fairfax Media has spoken to people who attended the budget night Great Hall dinner - an event the former Labor government also used to hold to raise funds - and one attendee confirmed it had been ''absolutely chockers, it was full to the boot''.
The Labor fund-raiser attended by Mr Shorten, and some senior shadow ministers, was at Canberra's exclusive Hotel Realm. It is understood that about 160 people attended the event, with prices ranging from $500 to $1000 per head - delivering a boost of as much as $80,000 to the opposition's coffers, after free tickets for shadow ministers were subtracted.
A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said Mr Abbott confirmed he was scheduled to attend his fund-raiser as well as a range of other meetings in Melbourne on Friday and said he had complied with travel guidelines for the use of his taxpayer-funded VIP plane.
''The Prime Minister is travelling across the country over the next week explaining the importance of the federal budget to communities across Australia,'' she said.
''He will be in Melbourne across the weekend for a range of meetings, engagements and events, including an event with Minister Hunt and Minister Billson and an appearance on ABC's Insiders program. All travel is undertaken in accordance with entitlements,'' the spokeswoman said.
Former prime minister Julia Gillard came under fire in March 2013 after she used her VIP jet to attend a staff member's wedding on the NSW north coast.
At the time, Ms Gillard's office pointed out that because the prime minister had also attended a number of other events, she was within the rules on the use of the jet for official business.