Job losses are the biggest concern for people in Ontario and the government should use this month’s budget to cut spending and provide tax relief to boost employment, the opposition parties said yesterday.

Progressive Conservative critic Norm Miller said that even though the provincial government promised more than $32 billion over two years as stimulus to create jobs, Ontario lost a net 141,600 jobs in 2009.

“The government has done a great job of creating public sector jobs at eight times the rate of private sector jobs, but has done a very poor job (in the private sector),” Miller said.

“Despite promising one million new jobs through the various plans, they’ve actually lost jobs.”

He’s urging selective tax relief, such as a tax holiday on the land transfer tax, to increase construction of new homes, and a holiday on some payroll taxes like the employer health tax, to improve the jobs outlook.

The Progressive Conservatives also said the government should cap program spending at the levels promised in the 2009 budget, and look at all ministries to see where it can trim some fat.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan is expected to release this year’s budget around March 25, a date he said may change if there’s something in the budget the province didn’t anticipate.