People suffering from HIV or chronic hepatitis C after being infected with contaminated blood should be given a yearly payment equal to the average salary of £27,000 for their "suffering, losses, and ongoing needs", a review group has concluded.

As well as calling for increased payments to those who contracted the disease following NHS treatment with infected blood or blood products, the financial review group called on the Scottish Government to up the amount of money it contributes to £1 million a year.

Health Secretary Shona Robison set up the review group earlier this year after the Penrose inquiry concluded more should have been done to screen blood and donors for hepatitis C in the early 1990s and the collection of blood from prisoners should have stopped earlier.

The group, chaired by Ian Welsh of the charity Health and Social Care Alliance, also suggested increased lump sum payments for those with chronic hepatitis C, flexible support and assistance grants, and that there should be ongoing financial support for husbands, wives or civil partners of those who have died from both diseases.

The Scottish Government is to use the recommendations to develop a new financial support package, which is due to be announced before World Haemophilia Day on April 17 next year.

Those infected after receiving contaminated blood have to date received payments of between £20,000 and £400,000, depending on their individual circumstances, with money coming from five existing UK-wide schemes.

The Scottish Government currently allocates £300,000 a year to the schemes but the review group suggested it should in future contribute £1 million a year into a new Scottish support and assistance grants scheme.

Annual payments for those suffering from either HIV or chronic hepatitis C should be upped from £15,000 to £27,000 to reflect the Scottish full-time gross median income while those suffering from both diseases should receive £37,000 a year instead of the current £30,000, the report said.

When someone dies, their husband, wife or civil partner should receive 75% of the annual payment in the form of a pension, the group suggested.

Just under 3,000 people acquired the hepatitis C virus from either blood transfusions between 1970 and 1991 or from blood product therapy while 78 acquired HIV, according to the Penrose inquiry.

Lawyer Patrick McGuire, of Thompsons Solicitors, who represents the majority of victims infected by contaminated blood, said: "What has been announced today marks very real progress from the current financial scheme which is administered by the UK Government.

"The Scottish Government has worked hard with victims to bring us to where we are today and for that they should be commended.

"Their attitude stands in stark contrast to the intransigence of David Cameron's Tory government on this issue.

"Some major problems still remain with this new Scottish arrangement.

"Much more needs to be done on the way the scheme still seeks to differentiate between victims and what symptoms they have.

"Until this issue is sorted out some people with terrible health problems will lose out due to this unfair grading system."

Ms Robison said ministers would "carefully consider" all the recommendations before announcing a new system of financial support in the new year.

She added: "The Scottish Government acknowledges that many people feel the financial support for people who have suffered as a result of this tragedy has been insufficient.

"I established this financial review group so that families, carers, patient groups and people affected could have a direct say in what the new scheme looks like.

"I would like to thank them for their hard work in producing this set of recommendations, which have been informed directly by their own difficult experiences.

"We are committed to improve the help and support on offer for people who are still having to deal with the consequences of this tragedy."