Borders Lib Dem MP Michael Moore has said everything possible will be done to protect key services in the face of impending cuts in public spending.
The Scottish Secretary is on the public expenditure committee at Westminster.
It is examining government department plans to make cuts in light of the coalition government's comprehensive spending review next Wednesday.
Mr Moore said there would be pain but the scale of the UK deficit meant there was no other option.
"It is always difficult to get the balance right but a lot of effort is going in to ensuring that we get the balance right between the different budgets that we're cutting back," he said.
"In the Borders for some time now along with Jeremy Purvis MSP I've been working with the local bodies like the council, the health board and others to ensure that we look very, very carefully at all the ways we spend money.
"So when we have to make the difficult decisions to cut back we are doing it in a way that protects as much of our frontline services as we can, and make sure we are as efficient as possible and cut back as much waste as possible."