ROME (Reuters) - Prime Minister Mario Monti's government won a confidence vote in the lower house of parliament on Thursday but the centre-right party of former premier Silvio Berlusconi abstained after earlier walking out of a confidence vote in the Senate.

The government won the vote on cutting the cost of local government by 281 votes to 77. There were 140 abstentions.

Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) party has withdrawn its support from Monti, raising the risk of a snap election, but President Giorgio Napolitano said he would work to avoid a crisis.

(Reporting By Catherine Hornby)