The loans would be paid back over 48 years and the rate of interest would be fixed at 4% per annum. This made the loan repayments affordable, and more people could benefit from the Act as they would now be able to buy their own land. It rounded off the achievements of the original Irish Land Acts as they only suggested that tenants could buy land. The Ashbourne Act was cementing that and it actually gave this right to the tenants.
It has often been argued that the Act was not passed out of any genuine desire to help Ireland. but was passed into win the support of Charles Stewart Parnell. Salisbury knew that his government would not last long as the Liberal Party had an overall majority. Salisbury realised that he would need Irish support to maintain power. Therefore the Ashbourne act was a way to win over Parnell while keeping William Ewart Gladstone in the backbenches. The Ashbourne Act had positive consequences for the people of Ireland but it, under that theory, had an ulterior motive.