Liberals cry poor over corporate support

Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

Corporate Australia is facing criticism from the Liberal Party for not providing greater support.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reportedly told a group of chief executives at a private dinner in Sydney on Monday night they needed to do more in terms of donating to the party and getting behind the government's pro-business policies.

The Australian Financial Review reported one source saying the prime minister had been "testy" about the point and was "determined to pursue anyone who should be putting their hand in their pocket".

Mr Turnbull was forced to chip in $1.8 million of his own money to keep the Liberals' 2016 election campaign afloat.

Liberal MP Jason Falinski said Mr Turnbull had a right to be angry with corporate Australia.

"The business community has just simply vacated the field," the NSW MP and former Liberal executive member told Sky News on Wednesday.

"What is business doing in terms of arguing against the bank (royal commission), arguing for business tax cuts, arguing for industrial relations reform - I can't see it."

He said the "massive behemoths" in the banking sector were not making the case for better financial regulation.

The problem had existed since the 2007 election, which was won by Labor on the back of a multi-million-dollar union campaign against the Howard government's WorkChoices laws.

"In the 2007 elections unions put in tens of millions of dollars into the campaign and where were they (business)? Still arguing about whether they should put in $50,000. Nothing has improved. It's just go worse," Mr Falinski said.