The KCRC is to review a 3.1 per cent fare increase planned for April, chairman Michael Tien said. The change of heart was due to vigorous cost-cutting measures being put in place, he said. But he stopped short of confirming whether passengers would be spared fare increases, saying the board would review the plan later this month. The KCRC intended to raise fares 3.1 per cent on average last July but postponed the rise to April after a public outcry. Mr Tien said he asked management to review the increase when he took up the job more than a month ago. He said unemployment and deflation had worsened since the proposal was raised. He was also worried the KCRC might lose passengers. 'I have been advised that we can achieve significant reduction in recurrent expenditure in a number of areas,' he told the Legco panel looking into the West Rail saga. 'I feel that the pressure for raising fares has reduced.' He said the corporation would make fewer recruitments and redeploy staff. 'We have no lay-off plans.'