Jobs in the Ontario public sector will be cut by five per cent over the next three years and politicians will see their wages frozen as the government seeks to rein in costs.

The move will affect about 3,400 employees, although about 2,000 Ministry of Revenue workers will become federal employees. The remaining 1,400 jobs will be phased out over the three-year period through attrition and other measures.

The government said it hopes to save $1 billion in 2011-2012 through the cuts, as well as by making some procurement programs permanent.

Members of provincial parliament will see their wages frozen for 2009-2010. Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said a hiring freeze wasn’t yet on the table.

Opposition’s reaction

• The effectiveness of the budget measures should be taken “not just with a grain of salt but with a block of salt,” said Opposition Leader Bob Runciman.

• NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she was disappointed with the budget’s cost-saving measures.