This paper presents a rate control algorithm for H.264 Scalable video codec, based on an independent rate control (IRC) scheme for spatial scalable layers. An independent bit allocation scheme was targeted for the impact of spatial scalable layer on bit budget achievements. For each spatial layer, the target bits for the current basic unit is a function of budget allocation for current Group of Pictures (GOP), predefined frame rate, target buffer level, buffer occupancy, and the available channel bandwidth . The allocated bits for a basic unit are updated such that the target bits for each basic unit adapt to the respective spatial scalable layer. This dynamic bit allocation scheme is implemented according to the complexity of a basic unit in each spatial layer. The proposed algorithm introduces more precise bit allocation within spatial scalable layers with defined buffer size. In a single framework, IRC offers control for GOP level, frame level and macro block (MB) level. At MB level IRC provides finer bit rate and buffer control. Experimental results demonstrate that compared to algorithm in Scalable video codec reference software , the proposed method provides faster settling of target bit rate and thus is very desirable for H.264/SVC rate control applications.