Updated at 6.07pm: Fears of more lay-offs were raised on Thursday after the civil service chief said public bodies trimming fat amid economic restructuring was inevitable. Talking about recent redundancies at the Urban Renewal Authority and the Tourism Board over the past days, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen conceded some publicly-funded bodies had a manpower problem. ''It is well known that owing to the economic restructuring, public bodies and private organisations have to rethink whether their existing staff are still suited to the needs and whether improvements would be necessary. Perhaps fat-trimming will be necessary in some situations. ''I am aware that there are problems of manpower mismatches in some public organisations. Some may have to sack employees while some will have to recruit more staff. I think this is an inevitable phenomenon, just the same as the business sector. It is not a particular problem [to government bodies]''. The Urban Renewal Authority sacked 24 senior staff to cope with new development strategy early this week and on Wednesday the Tourism Board also laid off 27 employees and redeployed 30 others as part of a restructuring to improve efficiency. Echoing the Chief Secretary for Administration's remarks, Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung said retrenchment would increase flexibility and help employment in the longer term. ''They [the public bodies] have their own independent operation. They would consider their problems in light of their own situation. ''The question of how to work faster and better has been the issue around the world. We can only respect their decisions,'' Mr Leung said. The comments yesterday sent shock waves through the civil service, with unionists expressing fears that more cutbacks are in the pipeline. Federation of Civil Service Unions president Leung Chau-ting said he believed Mr Tsang had had some downsizing plans up his sleeve. ''The Chief Secretary is trying to test the waters. I think he is shaping public opinion in favour of more downsizing,'' he said. Referring to the cutback of 10,000 posts announced in the budget in March, the unionist said he was worried that there would be another move to contain the civil service establishment. ''The Government is to blame for taking the lead in sacking employees. The private sector will follow suit and create a knock-on effect,'' he said.