TORONTO _ Ontario businesses won't get a promised break on the corporate tax rate until the province is able to balance its budget.

The Liberal government says it can no longer cut the rate to 10 per cent from 11.5 per cent by July 2013, despite vowing to do so during the election.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, in tabling his budget today, says the move is necessary and will save the cash-strapped province $1.5 billion over three years.

The budget also promises to save $250 million by merging many business support programs, as well as freeze scheduled decreases in business education taxes until the budget is balanced, for an additional $300 million in savings.

There's also a plan to limit the 10 per cent rebates on electricity bills to 3,000 kwh a month, to save $470 million, a move that will affect small businesses but not most homeowners.

The government is also proposing to extend a pay freeze on executive compensation for another two years, a measure that, like the delay to the corporate tax rate cuts, is likely to garner support from the New Democrats.