Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the government is slowly getting the budget under control, taking one “painful compromise” at a time.

The federal budget deficit is running nearly $2 billion smaller than anticipated at this stage of the financial year.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the government is getting the budget under control one “painful compromise” at a time.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann released the government’s monthly financial statement for September on Friday, which showed the underlying budget deficit at $19.16 billion.

The deficit had been expected to be $20.97 billion at this stage of the financial year.

The difference of just over $1.8 billion relates to lower than expected cash payments and higher than expected receipts.

The budget deficit estimate for the full 2014/15 year is $29.8 billion after a $48.5 billion shortfall in 2013/14, the second largest deficit on record.

However, some $18 billion of budget initiatives across the budget’s four-year estimates remain stuck in the Senate.

Treasurer Joe Hockey’s mid-year budget review in December will also have to account for a steep fall in commodity prices hitting revenue and increased spending on national security and Australia’s military involvement in Iraq.

The government has had to seal deals with crossbench senators, Labor and the Greens over the past 13 months to pass billions of dollars in budget savings measures so far.

Mr Abbott told the Liberal Party’s national executive in Canberra the coalition was achieving its aims.

“Compromise by painful compromise the budget is coming back under control,” Mr Abbott said.

“If you get the economic fundamentals right, there are benefits for the Australian people and we can deliver the strong and prosperous economy for the safe and secure Australia.”