OROMOCTO, N.B. -- New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says a re-elected Liberal government would increase spending on literacy programs by 25 per cent.

Speaking at a public library in Oromocto, Gallant said education is the key to creating more opportunities and a fairer economy.

Gallant says a Liberal government would continue to implement its 10-year education plan and its literacy strategy.

Spending on literacy programs had been set at $7 million per year beginning in the 2017-2018 budget.

Nearly 20 per cent of New Brunswick adults have literacy levels below the national average.

Recent Canada-wide assessments show that, with the exception of Manitoba, New Brunswick Grade 8 students lag behind their Canadian counterparts in reading.