ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- The Liberals promised Tuesday that if re-elected, they will boost the Canada Child Benefit for children under age one and make maternity and parental leave benefits tax-free.

Leader Justin Trudeau said that raising children is expensive and challenging, particularly in the first year, and this would help.

"In those first few months with a new baby, when it's a struggle to get enough sleep, let alone get to the top of your game at work, it can be an even bigger concern," he said. "People should be focused on spending time with their baby, not worrying about how they'll pay their bills."

The Liberals would increase the Canada Child Benefit by 15 per cent for children under one, which would be an increase of up to $1,000, they announced. The party also promised to remove federal taxes from employment insurance cheques for maternity and parental leave.

They contrasted their plan with a similar one from the Conservatives, who pledged to make maternity and parental leave tax-free through a non-refundable 15 per cent tax credit.

The Liberal plan exempts benefits from tax at the source, Trudeau said.

"You'll get every dollar right when you need it since no taxes will be taken off the EI cheque when new parents receive it," he said.

Trudeau said the Liberals would also introduce a new leave for adoptive parents so they get the same benefits as other parents. That means an extra $7,000 in parental leave payments for the average family who could claim the proposed new leave, Trudeau said.