Rome, October 24 - The Catholic Church said on Wednesday that the government should be trying to reduce the tax burden of Italian families rather than squeezing them harder with more austerity. Premier Mario Monti's tax hikes and spending cuts have eased the threat of Italy following Greece on the path towards default but they have also deepened the recession the country slipped into last year. A new budget bill that is going through parliament will see value added tax rise by 1% next year if it is approved, while income tax will be lowered in the two lowest bands and there will be more cuts to health and education. "It is not right nor sufficient to demand further sacrifices from families who, on the contrary, need policies of support, including those that move in the direction of lightening the tax burden," the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI) said in its message for the 35th national 'day for life'. photo: Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian Bishops' Conference.