Welsh farming unions have been given the unequivocal backing of opposition parties in their opposition to planned cuts in upland support payments.

Carwyn Jones, Welsh Assembly rural affairs minister, insists he must lop 40% off the budget of Tir Mynydd, the scheme that replaced Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances, to meet EU rules on the drafting of a new Rural Development Plan.

But the Farmers Union of Wales and NFU Cymru have claimed the cut would be draconian.

Both unions were given the support of the leaders of the Assembly’s three opposition parties at a meeting in Cardiff this week.

Dai Davies, NFU Cymru president, said later that the union was unwavering in its resolve to fight the cut, and he was delighted politicians were equally committed.

FUW president Gareth Vaughan pointed out that the Scottish Executive intended to boost payments to its less favoured area farmers by £10m to £61m.