MSPs are expected to give the final approval to the Scottish Government's Budget for next year.
Finance Secretary John Swinney has already set out how he plans to spend £28.4 billion in 2013-14. He has faced calls from opposition politicians at Holyrood to rethink some of those proposals.
But with the SNP having an overall majority at Holyrood Mr Swinney does not need to make any concessions to his political rivals. He has already argued his Budget will "accelerate economic recovery" in the face of spending constraints imposed by Westminster.
As part of his spending plans he has identified cash for affordable housing, a new energy skills academy and an employer recruitment scheme designed to help create up to 10,000 jobs for young people.
But Labour finance spokesman Ken Macintosh argued Mr Swinney should focus on colleges, housing and rail "if he is truly serious about protecting Scottish jobs and promoting economic growth".
Mr Macintosh said: "Whatever decisions have been made at Westminster, the Budget reflects choices made here and now by the Scottish Government and which affect the opportunities open to businesses and families across the country.
"The SNP quite simply need to reverse their cuts to our colleges and to rail infrastructure, use the additional £330 million available in capital consequential to boost housing and construction, and make greater use of the Scottish Government's own NPD (non-profit distribution) programme. Then we might have a Budget we can unite around."
The Liberal Democrats have also been urging the Finance Secretary to free up more cash for Scotland's colleges. Party leader Willie Rennie said he was hopeful the Lib Dems would agree the Budget.
Speaking ahead of this afternoon's debate Mr Rennie said: "Scottish Liberal Democrats have worked constructively with the Scottish Government, as we did last year, to influence the Budget. In tough economic times we must make choices which deliver a stronger economy in a fairer society.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "The Finance Secretary met all opposition parties in order to hear their proposals and to deliver a budget that meets the needs of Scotland's economy and its people."