The Government has announced plans to overhaul the Fair Deal scheme to benefit small farmers and family business owners who need to access nursing home care.
Currently, the system requires people to pay 7.5% of the value of their land and up to 80% of their income annually to help fund a nursing home place.
At the moment, the value of a person’s home is only included in the financial assessment for the first three years of their time in a care.
The proposals would see that three-year cap extended to farms and businesses, but only if a family successor is to continue operating the business for six years.
Health Minister Simon Harris said: "[The proposed change] stands to positively affect family farm and business owners who are in or are going into nursing home care across the country.
“This will make a substantial difference and finally remove the discrimination many of them faced under the existing law."
Minister of State for older people, Jim Daly, says the aim is to reduce stress and uncertainty for those who would benefit from the change.
He observed: "This is really a fairness measure. It's about where people are wanting to leave their farm to their next generation.
"When the next generation want to actually work it, then we want to make sure they're not punished inadvertently through the scheme."
The Cabinet today approved the general scheme of a bill to introduce the changes, and pre-legislative scrutiny will now get underway.