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On ATO debt collections

MEMBER 334 writes:

"I have been informed by an ATO officer that the Commissioner is tightening his debt collection policy. Apparently, now, in order to get the interest free period on the integrated client account a Taxpayer has to pay 10% upfront and then have monthly payments by direct debit. I appreciate that debts have to be collected but...

The reality is small business is hurting and with interest rates still going up and record business collapses in September 2010. Does the ATO have any idea what is happening in the real world? Canberra is not the real world."