Briefing Papers, a new website launched by AUT offers alternative briefing papers for incoming governments. The first is by Brian Easton, on the purpose of Budgets. Easton says that while all the debate is about budgets and economic growth, governments in fact can do little to influence it positively. (They can influene it negatively, as Ruth Richardson and National did in 1990.)
What they can do is focus on quality of output, measures to combat inequality and provide employment, and invest in children.
Worth a read.