Houses may be more affordable in rural Ireland, but it costs you more to get to work.
That's according to Independent TD for the Roscommon-Galway Michael Fitzmaurice, who was speaking as the impact of the Government's five-year policy for rural Ireland is being discussed in the Dáil.
Deputy Fitzmaurice was joined by economist Dan O'Brien in a debate on the decline of rural Ireland.
Mr O’Brien told Newstalk Breakfast the idea of a decline is inaccurate.
"When actually look at all of the Census figures, and all of the available data that we spend tens of millions of euro collecting, we find that certainly compared to other countries, Ireland's rural life remains much more vibrant," he said.
"We're still one of the most rural countries in Europe; our rural population is growing.
"Many, many measures show that rural Ireland is really doing well - particularly compared to other rural parts of Europe".
'An uncertain future'
Deputy Fitzmaurice said he agrees that while the population has grown, there are obstacles.
"We need the broadband rolled out rapidly because it's dragging on and dragging on," he said.
"In the agricultural sector, we have problems where there is basically an uncertain future... under climate measures and under different mixed messages coming from Government".
Mr O’Brien said urban settings have shortcomings as well.
"Deprivation, by any measure you want to look at, is much higher in urban areas than rural areas", he said.
"We hear very little about that.
"You're almost 50% more likely to be suffering from various forms of deprivation if you live in an urban setting than you are in an urban setting.
"Cost of housing is so much higher in urban areas: in Roscommon, half of households own their own home without any debt.
"In Dublin, it's one-in-four".
'Pluses and minuses'
Deputy Fitzmaurice said all sides have negative and positive attributes.
"We would see an awful lot of deprivation that no one would know about," he said.
"A house is dearer in the city, whereas the person living in the rural area pays a carbon tax day in, day out to even go to work.
"So you must realise that with pluses come some minuses as well," he added.
Listen back here: