Union bosses have hit out at “hysterical opposition” to the Scottish Government’s short-term lets legislation ahead of a last-ditch attempt to delay the plans.

Under the proposals, previously agreed by MSPs, short-term lets owners will need to obtain a licence from their local council to operate by October 1.

The plans have previously included grace periods and have already been delayed – but the Scottish Conservatives are pushing a vote on delaying the scheme by another 12 months after businesses complained about the policy.

The Scottish Government has insisted it will not change its tune and further delay the licensing plans.

Ahead of the vote, the GMB union has criticised the opposition to the proposals and warned without the regulation being rolled out, workers will continue to be priced out of cities.

Read more: Labour warned over 'hypocrisy' ahead of Tories' short-term lets vote

Concerns have been raised that the prevalence of short-term lets, particularly in Edinburgh, is leading to a shortage of affordable housing – with dwellings being used as commercial rentals instead of homes.

Campaigners have warned that this lack of housing is also contributing to soaring housing and rental costs.

In a letter to SNP Communities Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville, GMB Scotland organiser Kirsten Muat has urged the Scottish Government to stand by the proposals.

Ms Muat said short-term lets had driven up house prices and rents meaning frontline workers delivering public services in Edinburgh could no longer afford to live in the city.

However, she wrote, that while the issue was acute in cities, the lack of affordable housing blighted communities across rural and urban Scotland.

Read more: Rules for short-term lets 'may breach human rights law'

She said: “In rural parts of the country, key workers have also struggled to find homes leading to a dedicated fund from the Scottish Government to secure vital services can reach all communities.

“Key services cannot be provided without affordable homes and regulating short-term lets is essential in making homes more available and more affordable.

“The regulation must proceed without delay.”

Ms Muat added: “We would urge ministers to stand firm amid at times hysterical opposition to these measures.

“It is obscene that workers providing some of the most important services in our biggest cities can no longer afford to live in them.

Read more: SNP accused of 'demonising' short-term let owners over regulation

“Of course, we want a thriving tourism industry but not one that is built on the wellbeing of workers and their families.”

SNP Housing Minister Paul McLennan has warned operators who fail to sign up to the scheme before the October 1 deadline could receive a £2,500 fine if they continue operating.

As of September 5, data from 27 council public registers showed 3,537 licences have been granted, while a further 3,643 are being considered.

The minister said no applications have been refused and transitional arrangements are in place to allow hosts to continue operating while they await approval.