There remains concern from some corners of the provincial legislature, while some public bodies are encouraged after the government of Newfoundland and Labrador brought down its fiscal budget for 2020-21 on Wednesday.
But many agree with the total spending set for $8.97 billion, Wednesday's budget came as no surprise.
Tory leader Ches Crosbie said one of the most important numbers inside the province's new budget — among taxes, spending, new programs and a slightly decreased deficit — is 13,000, where employment is down almost 6 per cent.
"That's the number of jobs that are expected to be lost in the next few months," he said.
"That's the government's own word for it, 13,000 out of a workforce of just over 200,000. So you can work out the percentage, it's pretty high and that's on top of the job losses we've already seen."
Crosbie also said there's a lack of assurance in the new budget that would give young people in the province the comfort in knowing they have a future here.
"Those words are not there, that vision is missing, the plan is not there," said Crosbie.
NDP leader Alison Coffin calls the new budget "devoid of any creativity."
Coffin said the budget is reactionary, and it's based on last year and before COVID-19 had any impact on finances.
"There's really not a lot of mechanisms in this budget to address what we see going on with COVID," she said.
"What we do have, is a task force headed up by an individual who has privatized the Royal Mail, and has privatized a number of Canadian services as well. That should be something to be quite concerned about."
Coffin said she believes next year's budget, coming in just six months, will be much worse. She said she expects cuts and tax changes when the budget is tabled in March.
Others are also focused on the province's next budget.
Richard Alexander, executive director of the Newfoundland And Labrador Employers' Council, said it will be the following budget when the province will get a good look at what kind of leadership its premier and finance minister are willing to provide.
"What is different, and I think the people of the province should pay attention to, is the finance minister is using some messaging that is indicating that they're doing something with the next budget in six months," he said.
One thing both Crosbie and Coffin agreed on is the newly introduced $25-a-day child-care program, expected to be introduced next year and something Premier Andrew Furey leaned heavily on during his bid for Liberal leadership over the summer.
However, both Crosbie and Coffin — while happy but also critical — said the idea is something their parties had already lobbied for in the past.
"I'm glad to see the new premier adopt something from our policy book from last year in the general election," said Crosbie.
"They've adopted a couple of other items that we've ran on as well. So that part is fine, and dandy and good, but what it suggests is the new premier doesn't have his own ideas. Therefore, he's got to steal ours."
Coffin said she's happy to see the $25-a-day child-care program finally get some movement, adding it's a platform the NDP had run on for a very long time.
Jerry Earle, president of NAPE, a union which represents private and public sector employees across the province, said the child-care program is something his members have been calling for for decades.
Earle said it's a positive announcement but there are still challenges.
"They've got to make sure the women and men who work there, and it's primarily women who work in daycares, are appropriately compensated ... and there be sufficient spaces for children to avail of," said Earle.
"Today's budget we kind of knew where it was going. The next budget is the one we'll be watching much more closely. I've got a funny feeling we'll be having a different conversation post that budget."
The St. John's Board of Trade is encouraged by Wednesday's announcement, said chair for 2020 Andrew Wadden.
Wadden said the board didn't expect any surprises in the newest budget, but was happy to see some funding go toward helping small businesses, something he said the group has been lobbying for.
The money totals $30 million, introduced to help businesses and community groups make it through the pressure felt from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I think a lot of small businesses are going to be able to avail to that. We imagine probably between 3,000 and 3,500 businesses will do so. We have 750 members, most of them will be able to get this," Wadden said.
"Every little bit helps. ... This is grant money. This doesn't have to be paid back. So it's key."
Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association president Dean Ingram said the budget looks good for helping aging school infrastructure, but missed the point on allocating money for more teachers, counsellors and administration.
"Bricks and mortar are very important, but the heart of it is that the human resource within that building is what makes the biggest difference," Ingram said.
"We still have a concern about class sizes. It's why we've been long advocating for an independent review of the teacher allocation model."