Few are arguing with John Swinney when he said this year's Budget was the toughest since devolution, and his task of making a reduced sum go further is not to be envied.
However, it is his responsibility to ensure the priorities are covered and what cash is available to him is directed to ensure key public services are delivered without diminishing quality.
Mr Swinney said the cash for major projects already underway in Glasgow is protected, but we heard this week from business leaders that more is needed if the construction industry is to recover.
The cash for housing and colleges is welcome but following last year's reductions it is debateable whether it is sufficient to create the jobs and protect courses.
Mr Swinney and Alex Salmond have admitted they are unable to mitigate fully the effect of the Westminster cuts, which is where the blame for any bad news is directed.
Labour and Tories say the cuts are a choice made by the SNP, meanwhile too many of our young people are on the dole and too many others are joining them.
A united approach to tackling the problems we face is required now more than ever.